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2014 Great American Fiction Contest Winners

In Issue:

We’re pleased to announce Linda Davis as the winner of our 2014 Great American Fiction Contest! Read her prize-winning story, “The War at Home,” and stories from our five runners-up below.

To purchase the collection Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest: 2014, which includes 13 additional stories not available online, click here.

Click here to enter the 2015 Great American Fiction Contest

Winner:

LindaDavis2

‘The War at Home’

By Linda Davis

A single mom struggles with school politics and a rebellious preteen in this complex portrait of a family at a crossroads.

Bio: Before focusing on her own stories, Davis worked at Harper’s Magazine and as a story editor for Wildwood Enterprises—Robert Redford’s production company. Though a finalist for many awards, Davis says, “This is the first time I’ve won.” Her work has been published in The Literary Review, Gemini Magazine, and Tattoo Highway. Her essay, “This House,” was published in the anthology, Morning Coffee and Other Stories: Mothering Children with Special Needs.

Runners-Up:

ErinBartelsSq

‘This Elegant Ruin’

By Erin Bartels

Garrison Knight commands his orchestra with power and grace until a musician’s strike and his attraction to a young violinist combine to threaten his orderly world.

Bio: Bartels—“a copywriter by day, a novelist at night”—worked for a book publisher for 12 years. In January 2013, she embarked on a personal goal of writing one short story each month: “This Elegant Ruin” was her March story. Bartels is currently working on a novel, as well as a non-fiction e-book that she will release in spring 2014.

Headshot of author Stephen Eoannou

‘Auld Lang Syne’

By Stephen G. Eoannou

The discovery of a windfall in the backseat of a cab on Christmas Eve triggers an ethical conundrum. But the driver’s chance encounter with three strangers leads to an unexpected decision.

Bio: A runner-up in our 2013 Great American Fiction Contest for his short story “The Wolf Boy of Forest Lawn,” Eoannou is also a two-time Pushcart Award nominee and a finalist for the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award. His fiction has appeared in Rosebud and The MacGuffin among other literary journals. His first short story collection, Muscle Cars, will be published in spring 2015.

MorganHunt2

‘The Answer Box’

By Morgan Hunt

A young mother, bolstered by unwavering love for her children, struggles with the isolation and stigma of divorce during the 1960s.

Bio: Hunt is the author of the Tess Camillo mystery series, which won a Best Books Award in 2008 from U.S. Book News and a National Indie Excellence Award. She has published poetry and non-fiction in various outlets including Writer’s Digest.

Christine-Venzon-001

‘The Talent Scout’

By Christine Venzon

In promoting a talented young street musician from New Orleans, a gallery curator rediscovers her own artistic ambitions.

Bio: A veteran freelance writer, Venzon spent 10 years writing high school family and consumer science books for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Her fiction and non-fiction has been published in national magazines, including St. Anthony Messenger and The Christian Science Monitor. Venzon won the 2010 Highlights for Children fiction contest and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011.

Headshot of author Robert Steven Williams

‘Twelve Miles, 48 Stops’

By Robert Steven Williams
For Davida and Granny Jack, life in the projects is a daily challenge. With her father’s pending release from prison, Davida plans an escape from the war-torn neighborhood and family ties that both alienate and sustain.

Bio: In 2013, Williams released his first novel, My Year as a Clown, which won the Silver Medal for popular fiction in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards. A finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, Williams is now working on a second novel, as well as a documentary about F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Click here to see the winners from the 2013 Great American Fiction Contest.

Read More:

  • Orlando

    Great writing, no doubt. I do agree with the idea of making two separate contests. Who knows, there just may be the next Steinbeck out there sitting in their own solitary writing place pecking away who isn’t finding ways to be discovered. Two separate contests deserves more thought.

  • Gina Marie

    While I congratulate the winners and runner ups, I have to agree with the first post. It seems very unfair to combine your entries into one category. Published authors and those who have worked for years in the industry have knowledge and inside information that previously unpublished authors do not. It is a gross injustice to allow this in a competition such as this. There are a multitude of very talented authors out there that have not been able to get published and to have an uneven playing field is discouraging to them and frankly completely unfair. As a business professional I am very surprised that a publication such as yours would not have broken the entries into categories of published and unpublished authors. To me that is the same as me expecting new untrained employees to perform to the same level as trained, veteran employees. This does nothing except set them up for failure and disappointment.

  • George

    The contest winners and runners up all seem to be previously published authors. Perhaps limiting the contestants to those of us still trying to break into the field should be discussed. Or perhaps a separate contest. Clearly someone who worked at Harper’s Magazine and as a story editor for Wildwood Enterprises has a leg up on the competition. Erin Bartels, “This Elegant Ruin” was her March story. Stephen G. Eoannou, runner-up in our 2013 Great American Fiction Contest for his short story “The Wolf Boy of Forest Lawn,” Morgan Hunt, is the author of the Tess Camillo mystery series, which won a Best Books Award in 2008 from U.S. Book News and a National Indie Excellence Award. She has published poetry and non-fiction in various outlets including Writer’s Digest.
    Try leveling the field next time please.
    Thank you for letting me vent.

  • Congratulations to the winner and runner ups! I loved Robert Steven Williams novel ‘My Year As a Clown’ and can hardly wait for his next novel!!