Author Topic: The Winners' Circle  (Read 1265 times)

Phoebe Barton

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on: June 28, 2022, 10:10:55 PM
The votes have been counted, the neutron flow polarity has been reversed, and the flux capacitor is fluxing - it's finally time to announce the winners of the Seventh Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest!

That's right, winners! After looking at potential voting issues, and taking into account the withdrawal of "USS Copernicus" from consideration, the editorial team has decided that this contest is resulting in a three-way victory. So congratulations to the following stories, which will all be appearing in future installments of Escape Pod:

"Bee of Ganymede" by Brandon Case
"Imposter Syndrome(s)" by Bob McHugh
"Half-Lives" by Andrew Hiller

Furthermore, thanks to everyone who submitted and voted. Without you, this contest would be a nonexistent forum, which is not a great way for a contest to be. Excelsior, and we'll see you and a fresh batch of stories next year!


  • Palmer
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Reply #1 on: June 29, 2022, 12:01:05 AM
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who read, reviewed and voted for my little story! There were so many great works in this contest. Half-Lives started off with a random Pinky and the Brain thought, "What are we going to do tonight, Brain?" "Same thing we do every night. Try to take over the time line!" From there, writing the story and then cutting and cutting and cutting to get it under 500 was really hard as I'm sure most of the people reading this can attest to. For that writing lesson I want to thank the organizers. Your contest may have made me a better writer. Congrats also to Bee and Imposter Syndrome! I enjoyed your stories a lot! (And yeah, I realize I'm gushing so I will stop!) Thanks!


  • Palmer
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Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 01:01:57 PM
Wow! Bob (Imposter Syndromes) here. Congrats to the other winners and finalists and thanks so much to the Escape Pod team for running this contest. I know what a serious investment something like this is to run and I really appreciate the labor of love from the Escape Artists/Pod folks to make this happen. It’s a tremendous experience as a writer to get feedback on your stories that exceeds “this wasn’t a fit”— and I really appreciate the way they run the contests (and for free!).

There were so many stories (and once the anonymity was lifted, writers I recognize) that I admire and appreciate; it was wonderful to be a part of it. My personal favorites were probably six reasons why bots make the worst asteroid miners, nice solar system…, and crosswords and coffee, but I liked so many of them.

Finally, an indulgent, sappy backstory you can skip: A decade ago, I dove headfirst into the world of publishing (Got an MFA, worked as an agent,adjunct, and reader) and immediately became disillusioned and burnt out. I had stopped writing fiction entirely, and never planned to return. A couple months after my first child was born in 2020, I developed a severe colon and bladder infection and underwent serious emergency surgery. I was bed-bound for months and I couldn’t listen to any of my normal supply of podcasts because they were all comedy shows and laughing hurt like hell. So…I downloaded a podcast called Escape Pod. I binged a billion episodes (and laughed and hurt my stitches). It reminded me how much I still love writing and it was a major reason I started writing again for the first time in a decade. This is an absolute thrill and it is far more emotionally rewarding than it should be to have some strangers on the internet to tell my they like my silly story about rotten fish chowder and Uncle Goose Boys.

Thanks everyone! I look forward to reading and voting for your stories in the next contest!


  • Lochage
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Reply #3 on: June 29, 2022, 01:31:48 PM
Congrats to the winners! Glad to say I voted for two of the three (bad luck to Crosswords and Coffee, my third vote, which I still highly rate!) and had the small misfortune to share my first heat with the third winner, finishing fourth. (So I THINK I can say I was knocked out by a contest winner, right?)


  • Extern
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Reply #4 on: June 29, 2022, 06:46:33 PM
Congratulations to the winners! These stories were all so enjoyable to read.


  • Peltast
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Reply #5 on: June 29, 2022, 07:52:55 PM
Congratulations! Three terrific stories, well deserving the win!


  • Palmer
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Reply #6 on: June 30, 2022, 01:20:46 PM
HUGE congratulations to the winners! They all hit perfection emotional notes, whether it was to surprise me into a laugh or to pull at my heartstrings. Well deserved wins.

I also want to add that this was a super tough contest, with so many beautiful stories. Thank you, all, for writing them!


  • Extern
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Reply #7 on: July 01, 2022, 08:32:02 AM
Hurray! Congratulations to everyone who entered! So many excellent stories, it was an honor to be amongst such diverse creativity. Thank you to everyone who voted for Bee! And those comments! There were a few (and one in particular) that really made my day, if not month. It was a great experience, and thanks so much to the mods who orchestrated the entire affair--you are awesome :)


  • Extern
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Reply #8 on: July 15, 2022, 04:44:31 PM
I've just come across this other page and noticed some kind words for Crosswords and Coffee, so thanks so much! I loved all the winning stories too, congratulations all :D Off to send mine to a hopeful new home after looking at the lovely feedback from this group - great competition to be a part of, and so many excellent stories to read!  :)