11th Annual Fiction Contest 

The MATH of a great story

CL Atlanta Fiction Contest: 2010-2014

Math was a little bit of a weird choice for the theme of our 11th annual Fiction Contest, but that's kind of why we liked it. And the authors seemed to as well.

This year, first place goes to Johnny Drago's "What Have I Done to You That You Beat Me These Three Times?", in which a lowly donkey turns out to be a real smart ass. "The story is vivid and surprising, with unexpected turns, and operates on a cruel, but funny, inner logic, like Flannery O'Connor meets Dr. Doolittle," said judge Lucas Church.

Benjamin Solomon's affecting second place story "The Swallow" is a "compelling portrait of a daughter's rage and father's regret," said judge Lydia Ship. Church called it "a multilayered slice of life with a troubled, lost man at its center, unable to act as his family falls apart around him. It's emotionally complex and, at turns, achingly poignant."

Third place winner "Mathematics for Life" by Elizabeth Landau embraced the theme in the narrative and structure without getting gimmicky. Judge Dionne Irving praised Landau's "interesting use of theme and structure to create character. [The story] manages through the writing to achieve this task with deftness."

A big thanks to all the entrants, the judges, and to artist RLand for his phenomenal illustrations of each story and for the cover of this week's paper.

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