Part of the pressure of running a site like this is keeping all the threads together. Keeping the awards ticking over, making sure all the submissions get a fair read, that the short list is representative not only of personal taste but of the broader fiction scene.

Getting all the points tallied up takes time. We’re fortunate to have a great pool of judges made up of friends, literary types and former participants to call on. Maybe it was the broad selection on the short list (eight stories was our largest list yet) but we did fall a bit behind this week. Fortunately, we had a couple of people step in and cast their votes at the right time.

So onwards to the winner. It was a tight contest, as usual. Four pieces stood out in particular, each catching the eye of the judges. Two time winner Nathan Boole impressed with his sci fi prologue, and regular short lister Joey To, who seems to take vast, impressive leaps with each submission, also scored highly. Alongside them was newcomer Alex Finlayson. His Shadowlands piece, you feel, could have won on any other day.

In the end, though, it was another newcomer who took out this weeks prize.

Congratulations to Ashleigh Mounser!

Ashleigh’s Oscar Lennon  was described by judges as ‘funny and interesting,’ ‘well written and with good use of irony,’ and ‘(just) subversive enough to be a worthwhile zombie bit.’

As usual thanks to everyone who submitted. I think we can all agree that Ashleigh is a deserving first place winner. Please take time to congratulate her on her piece in the comments below (or over at her story)

Up next is the CROMULENT Award. Following that, things are going to get a little spacey, as well as a beat-the-winner competition where writers will be encouraged to take on MAYAN award winner Jason Fink in a showdown to the death.*


*There is no death.