I didn't find out until yesterday that Writer's Digest has announced the winners of the 2008 writing competition. And I...wait for it...didn't win. This really doesn't surprise me. I would have been more surprised had I won. But at least I gave it a shot.
That said, I have to question the entries that were chosen as this years winner. Some were good, but then some, including the grand prize winner, were definitely not good. I discussed this at some length with one of the guys in the office that also entered a story and neither of us could find anything redeeming about the winning entry. I did not care for the grand prize, horror and scifi/fantasy stories. I thought the thriller/suspense story was decent, but some of the dialogue seemed a little wooden and I don't think I would have classified it as either thriller or suspense. The mystery/crime story was good. I really enjoyed it. I was also very pleasently surprised by the romance story. I've never read a romance novel before, and I was expecting something flowery and syrupy sweet, but this was not the case.
But you know what, I'll let you decide. Here are the winning entries.
Grand Prize Winner: "Falling Leaves" by William Rausch
Horror Winner: "Look at the Dead Person" by Fred McGavran
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Winner: "Chosen" by Beverly Smith-Dawson
Thriller/Suspense Winner: "Brother's Keeper" by Richard Mazziotti
Mystery/Crime Winner: "The Fish Ivory Man" by Ken McBeath
Romance Winner: "Magic" by Karin Fuller
Unfortunately, this has made me question the value/effort involved in sending my work over to Writer's Digest, because I honestly don't think they'd ever pick one of my stories based on those published. On the plus side, I now have a story that's done that I can start submitting to other publications.
In other writing/Writer's Digest news, Maria Schneider, who was editor-in-chief of Writer's Digest until a few weeks ago and has worked with some big names in publishing, has started a new blog, editorunleashed. Apparently, after some corporate change up at WD and the placement of a new editorial director, Maria resigned, saying the tone and content of the magazine were going to be driven in a direction she didn't really care for. I can respect that, and it really takes guts to leave a nice job like that today. So go check out her fledgeling blog where she's been posting advice and whatnot for writers. She's also launched a forum for writers over there. Anyone who signs up by November 30 is entered into a contest to have a free manuscript critique from her! Go check it out.