Naomi Johnson of The Drowning Machine has announced the winners of the 2012 Watery Grave Invitational Short Story Contest, the fourth annual such competition. They are as follows:
1st Prize: “Genny Bow,” by Chris LaTray
2nd Prize: “Footsteps in the Dark” by Mike Wilkerson
3rd Prize: “The Drowning of Jeremiah Fishfinger,” by Ian Ayris
4th Place: “Two Kilograms of Soul,” by Keith Rawson
5th Place: “Abolition of Midnight,” by John Higgins
The full list of finalists can be found here.
As one of the three judges of this year’s WGI (together with blogger/critic Elizabeth A. White and author/blogger Patti Abbott), I echo Johnson’s remark that settling on the winners was an arduous task. “To illustrate how tough it was for these three ... to reach a consensus,” Johnson writes, “NOT ONE story made all three of the judges’ top five lists. There are five to fifteen possibilities for those initial top five lists, and the judges named 11 stories. Getting to an agreement on just five stories, and the order of those five, was daunting. Our Congress should be so good and graceful at compromise.” Just to demonstrate how difficult it was to reach agreement, in the end, my top choice didn’t make it to the final five.
Johnson hasn’t yet decided whether she will publish the top three WGI vote-getting stories in The Drowning Machine, but if she does, I’ll update this post with the links.
Congratulations to everyone who entered the 2012 contest!