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on the Short Story Challenge 2008






Click here to learn more & register for

the Short Story Challenge 2011!



► Anyone may compete from anywhere in the world

► There are 2 rounds

► 1st Round (1/12/07 - 1/20/07) :  Writers are placed randomly in heats.  Each heat is assigned a genre and a subject (ex. comedy : competing lemonade stands or horror : a family reunion).

► Writers have 1 week to write an original short story (2,500 words max).

► Winners are chosen from the 1st Round to advance to the 2nd round and compete for thousands in prizes and exposure to the industry.

► 2nd Round (3/16/07 - 3/17/07) :  The winning writers all receive the same genre and subject at midnight (EST time) and have just 24 hours to write an original short story.

► A panel of judges review the final round stories and winners are chosen!



To view the First Round Assignments & Awards, click here.  24 talented writers advanced to the Final Round of the Short Story Challenge and were challenged to create original short stories in 24 hours based on the following assignment:

   Genre - Drama     Subject - Chocolate


Congratulations to all of the writers for rising to the challenge!  The overall winners of the Short Story Challenge are below:


1st Place

"Chocolat Amer (Bitter Chocolate)" by Jacqueline Brown (New York, NY) - Following the death of her father, a savvy African child bride finds herself trapped in the horror of the 21st century Cote d'Ivoire chocolate slave trade.


2nd Place

"Trick" by John Dowgin (Spotswood, NJ) - His parents' reaction to a frightening discovery in his Halloween candy forces a ten year-old boy to reevaluate his views of the world and his father.


3rd Place

"A Man of Cortés" by Pete Barry (Easton, PA) - A Spanish conquistador discovers the positive and negative effects of a native Mesoamerican chocolate drink.


4th Place

"Back Home in a Foreign Land" by David Malki ! (Los Angeles, CA) - A returning veteran attempts to readjust to civilian life while battling the demons of his memories.


5th Place

"Sorry" by Bruno Zalubil (New York, NY) - A homesick woman is finally unwilling to apologize for the sake of her abusive boyfriend when their five-year relationship reaches its nadir over a contraband box of chocolates.


6th Place

"The Fight of His Life" by Steven Smyth (Millbury, MA) - Drew Carroll is a man who knows loss-but it is only after his dog is stricken by chocolate poisoning that he is able to understand both loss and life.


Honorable Mention

"A Chocolate Star" by Todd Ciaciuch (Agoura Hills, CA)

"Alcohol, Chocolate, and Cigarettes" by Megan Marquart (West Chester, PA)

"Chocolate Walls" by Eric Marschall (Winston Salem, NC)

"Chocolate's Sunday" by Martin Lancaster (Frankfurt, Germany)




Special thanks to our judges who spent many hours going through the stories.  The judges included Michael Zam, Benjamin Swicker, Judy Steiner, Tamiko Beyer and Aaron Zimmerman.





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