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Articles > Short Story Challenge 2008 Finalists


Short Story Challenge 2008 Finalists

Profiles of the finalists from the Short Story Challenge 2008 are listed below, along with the story title and synopsis that helped them advance out of their 1st round heat.

Anthony Baker

Originally from Long Island, New York, Anthony Baker is an English teacher and freelance author who currently lives near Orlando, Florida. He has published several travel articles about Orlando, for both local audiences as well as tourists. He is currently working toward his master's degree in liberal studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. In addition to his studies, Anthony is currently working on a book of poetry, a short story compilation, and a screenplay.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Innovation' by Anthony Baker   SYNOPSIS - Danny, an electronics salesman, gets more than he bargains for when a creepy old man continually appears on his state-of-the-art home theatre system and takes him on a journey to places no one wants to be. (Heat 5) 


Steven Barry

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Thank God for the Idiocy of Animals' by Steven Barry   SYNOPSIS - Nathan lands himself in the animal emergency room after his friend Alexis' dog gets run over by a golf cart on his watch. Nathan has been crazy about Alexis for a while, and he attempts to capitalize on the situation. (Heat 26) 


Teresa Belardes

Teresa Belardes is a part-time writer, poet, and blogger  residing in West Hills, California.  While tapping her skills as a floral designer, jewelry artist, singer, restaurant and event manager to pay the bills, she has also spent many years in the study of metaphysics, quantum theory, mind/body medicine, and alternative therapy.  She is a political activist, community volunteer, and a certified master gardener, whose inspirations are guided by the collective consciousness, the wonders of nature, and the absurdities of life. You can find more of her writing at - a work in progress.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'A Little Bit of Courage' by Teresa Belardes   SYNOPSIS - A special doll carries a universal message of courage to two sides of a savage and relentless war. (Heat 12)


Ryan Berger

1st Place **FINALIST** 'What it's like to Win an Argument' by Ryan Berger   SYNOPSIS - Gordon’s gargoyle proves to be an asset for his landscape company, but he must decide if it is worth the burden to his friends and family.   (Heat 10)


Cagney Brennan


Cagney Brennan is a 25y/o s/w/m. Cagney thought NYC Midnight was a dating website.  somehow still won something. He enjoys moonlit walks, phrenology discussions, sleeping naked and pumpkin pie. Occasionally, he writes stuff.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Tri-Elementia and The House of the Flying Geese' by Cagney Brennan   SYNOPSIS - Three proud warriors must search for the House of the Flying Geese and the Autonomous-Trader Man who resides within its walls.  They seek the means to be granted passage to what could be their greatest battle. (Heat 23) 


Susan Buchanan

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Lessons in Etiquette' by Susan Buchanan   SYNOPSIS - The lives of Chinese housewives are often very insular. They’re thought of as domestic and submissive, but everyone has their limits.  (Heat 27) 


Lea Calderon-Guthe

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Edna and Harold Fitzgerald' by Lea Calderon-Guthe   SYNOPSIS - Edna and Harold Fitzgerald are a married couple in their eighties: Edna is slightly senile and Harold is slightly deaf with a mild obsession for model trains. Edna buys Harold a new red steam engine for his birthday one year, but six months later realizes it has broken up the previously perfect harmony of their marriage, and so takes revenge. (Heat 29) 


Candace Leigh Coulombe

Candace Leigh Coulombe is a full-time corporate communications specialist in Northern California, and a sometime freelance writer of lifestyle editorial, creative non-fiction and short fiction. The 2008 Short Story Challenge appeals to her competitive nature, and the friendly online community of fellow competitors has been a brilliant bonus. For Round 1, Candace’s heat was tasked with the genre “suspense” and the topic “locker.” You can read her winning entry online at


1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Changing Room' by Candace Leigh Coulombe   SYNOPSIS - Things go awry when an ambitious young woman infiltrates an exclusive country club.  (Heat 6) 


Stuart Creque

Stuart Creque has an extensive background in business, beginning in 1980 when he transitioned from electrical engineering to marketing and program management.  He has been actively writing for the screen since 1995. Two of his short scripts were acquired by producers: one became the short film AUTONOMY (1997, Silver Penny Productions) and the other is being produced as the animated short TSUNAMI (estimated release 2008, Renderyard Productions). One of his feature screenplays, the award-winning JUST LISTED, has been optioned by Chef Thomas-Filmatica of Canada. A screenplay commissioned by B’z Shorts LLC, the horror feature DIARY OF THE BLOOD COUNTESS, is in pre-production, as is THE WORLD WANTS PEACE, commissioned by Irving Herschaft.

In addition to these scripts, Stuart has written seven other screenplays “on spec,” several of which have won screenwriting awards: TIME AND AGAIN, THERE IS A SEASON, UNHAPPY ENDINGS, FIRERIDER, DOC, OLD FRIENDS (with Biju Viswanath) and BEYOND (also with Biju). He’s producing BEYOND as a feature to be shot in Summer 2008 in Kerala,, Southern India, with Biju Viswanath directing.

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Under Underwood' by Stuart Creque   SYNOPSIS - A famous writer slumped over his Underwood, gun in his hand, a suicide note in the carriage: two police detectives quickly deduce that it wasn’t suicide, but the motive for murder surprises them. (Heat 20) 


Joe Crosby

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'The Unavoidable Paradox' by Joe Crosby   SYNOPSIS - The plight of an ogre, in his unfortunate role as sinner and saint, to subjugate and set free. But his destiny is in our hands. (Heat 8) 


Russell Detty

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Maytag Chieftain' by Russell Detty   SYNOPSIS - An old man mourns the loss of his wife and shares something with his son that helps them both cope with her death. (Heat 24) 


John Dowgin

John is very excited to reach the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge finals in 2008 after having finished second in the inaugural 2007 challenge. Normally a screenwriter and playwright, John's writings have been performed as part of the New York International Fringe Festival and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Playwright's Festival, and have earned finalist honors from the Actor's Theater of Louisville's Ten-Minute Play Festival. When not writing or working as a technical writer/web designer, he's working with his independent production company on an upcoming online suspense series (, acting or directing onstage somewhere in New Jersey, or hanging out with his wife, son, dog, two cats, and three goldfish at their Spotswood home.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Canaan Wedding: The Untold Story (alternate title: Disciples Gone Wild)' by John Dowgin   SYNOPSIS - The New Testament told the story of the Canaan Wedding, where Jesus turned water into wine. But the world has never known how the wedding’s bartender, a cater waitress, and a few wedding crashing disciples helped make it all possible… until now. (Heat 21) 


Sharon Fiennes-Clinton


Sharon Fiennes-Clinton was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She still lives there with her husband and daughter. She is an aspiring crime fiction writer who works as a medical administrator to support her desire to one day be a full time writer.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Mikayla's Game' by Sharon Fiennes-Clinton   SYNOPSIS - Mikayla’s playing a game she never should have started. She doesn’t know the rules and worst of all she doesn’t know the other player. (Heat 5) 


Lauren Goode


Lauren Goode works in television production in New York City and also freelance writes for the web.  Lauren grew up in Bridgeport, CT and is a graduate of Clark University, where she majored in English and won the university's short story contest in 2001.  She is very excited to be a finalist in this year's NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Ernie's Deli' by Lauren Goode   SYNOPSIS - A short story about a young girl spending her summer vacation working in the family deli; with nothing to occupy her but her doll and the crazy characters that frequent the store. Until one day, when evil walks through the door… (Heat 12) 


Benjamin Gould


Benjamin Gould obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree for writing in 2000, and has spent the intervening years working temp jobs in the publishing industry, driving diesel trucks, absorbing information about random historical events, and generally wandering aimlessly through life while taking notes.  When not writing, he can often be found riding a bicycle or playing a guitar, usually singing at the same time in both cases, though only gaining an audience for the latter.  He currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts and reads too many comic books.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'The Things That Are Buried' by Benjamin Gould   SYNOPSIS - In a world that has been reclaimed by fantastic beasts of old, you must find a way to survive.  You begin by digging. (Heat 10) 


Ruston Head

Since this is a short story contest, I’ll stick to form and keep me talking about me brief.  I’m a good ol’ boy from Louisiana where I studied English at LSU.  In 2001, I moved to LA to fulfill a longtime dream of working on and making films.  I’ve been able to be a part of a variety of projects, primarily as an Art Director.  I’ve recently begun directing music videos, which is nice in that it combines two of my passions into one medium.  I currently live in Tampa, Fl with my darling Dana and continue to work in film.


My likes: boat drinks, nachos, rock n’ roll, sour patch kids, bowling.


My dislikes:  places that don’t offer at least one on the above-mentioned.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Clock Radio' by Ruston Head   SYNOPSIS - An aging scientist struggles to accept the dehumanizing world that he has helped create.  Ultimately, he realizes his fate through the powers of his own inventions. (Heat 17) 


Joel Huettig

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'I Think We Should Go With The Blue' by Joel Huettig   SYNOPSIS - If you could order up a baby with specific genetic traits, would you do it? What if you didn’t get what you’d ordered? (Heat 30) 


Jim Hunt

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Punt Dog Dreams' by Jim Hunt   SYNOPSIS - With the help of the biggest legend in dog punting history, a boy trains to become even greater than his idol. (Heat 4) 


Christopher Hutt

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'The Box' by Christopher Hutt   SYNOPSIS - “The Box” focuses on a strange discovery made by three hunters.  Despite having every chance to walk away from an increasingly dangerous situation, some people would rather bet their lives on a mystery then do the right thing, there are consequences. (Heat 6) 


Tom Jubert

Tom Jubert is a professional video game script writer and journalist, responsible for the 'Penumbra' series among other things. Don't laugh - he's convinced games can be just as clever and adult as film or literature, even if they are mostly about blowing things up. He's surprised and faintly suspicious that he's made it into the final, but pleased nonetheless.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Welcome Break' by Tom Jubert   SYNOPSIS - Welcome Break is the terrible tale of a man travelling the motorway, and the monotony of the road side world he comes to inhabit. (Heat 22) 


Matthew King

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Classified' by Matthew King   SYNOPSIS - Government documents detailing the failures of Project C.R.R., a.k.a. The Fishing Net. (Heat 2)


Victoria LaCorte

I am 23, and I must say it is my favorite age so far. I design funky architecture from a little desk in the corner of a dilapidated brick building somewhere in Boston. I have far too much energy to sit at a desk all day. I am always awkward. I am often too curious for my own good. I speak too softly and ask too many questions. I harbor serious soft spots for cancer charities and sustainable building technology. I play a tenor saxophone, albeit dismally. I am a martial artist and that is the only sport in which I've ever excelled. I lived in Berlin for three months last year, and I miss everything about that wonderful city. I run on very little sleep and dream strange and improbable dreams.  Someday, I hope they come true.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'The Writing Ball' by Victoria LaCorte   SYNOPSIS - An aspiring reporter investigates the life of a notoriously secretive author. (Heat 20) 


E.D. Lindquist

I'm something of a "late bloomer" in writing. I'm not one of the authors who has been writing for as long as they could hold a pen. I was an artist first. I was never much good and always struggled to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper. It was frustrating and largely a dead end until the end of college, when the idea for my first novel wormed its way into my head and set my brain afire. It simply would not leave me alone, so I sat down my final summer break and wrote the whole thing down.

It was the greatest three months of my life. That was about two years ago now. I'm hooked. I finished college and got a job that I care marginally about, but it's all to pay the bill and keep me eating so I can write. I'm primarily a novelist, but any drug... I mean writing... will do.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Mail Call' by E.D. Lindquist   SYNOPSIS - Age steals a secret and an old man must play detective games in his own home. The answer waits impatiently right before his eyes. (Heat 3) 


Anne Majumdar

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Launderette' by Anne Majumdar   SYNOPSIS - The issues and marital problems of a successful young couple impact on the life of Bert who works in the local launderette. (Heat 24) 


David Malki !

David Malki ! is the creator and author of the Ignatz-nominated comic strip "Wondermark", which is featured each week in 'The Onion' newspaper. His books and comics entertain tens of thousands of readers across the world, and his most recent film, 'Expendable', about the ordinary lives of supervillain henchmen, is currently screening at film festivals around the country.  His Wondermark book 'Beards of our Forefathers' will be in bookstores in June.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Do Me, Robot' by David Malki !   SYNOPSIS - Surgeons in love a world apart use robotic technology to their advantage. (Heat 7) 


Special thanks to David who graciously gave up his spot in the finals to an alternate entrant due to a scheduling conflict.


William Martinez

1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Day I Got Old' by William Martinez   SYNOPSIS - An ageing hitman encounters a series of “sealed envelopes” during a chance meeting in a diner in Texas. (Heat 28) 


Halli Melnitsky

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'My First Concussion' by Halli Melnitsky   SYNOPSIS - For one young women, a life with a concussion may prove more interesting than life without.  We do what we have to do to get what we need. (Heat 26) 


Jacob Mendelsohn

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Communications Breakdown' by Jacob Mendelsohn   SYNOPSIS - A text-messaging obsessed Manhattanite undergoes a procedure to have internet-capabilities implanted in her brain. The results are not as expected. (Heat 16) 


Eric Neyer

Eric Neyer has an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. He climbs boulders, rides motorcycles, and prospects for gold in his spare time.

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Little Rouge Robin Hood' by Eric Neyer   SYNOPSIS - In which a young girl travels to her grandmother's house to borrow a credit card in order to help her sick mother, and what befalls her during her journey. (Heat 8) 


Dave Norman

Dave Norman is a paintball journalist and fiction writer who lives in row 24, seat F, on an interminable series of international flights. He began writing by flashlight in bed when he was four years old. His former jobs include inventing and manufacturing compressed air powered canons, stringing for a local newspaper, and traveling around the world covering paintball events. He profiled Ken Griffey Jr., covered quilting bees, and recently found himself in crossfire between 4,300 armed men. His college professors were surprised, but delighted, when he passed up a lucrative defense consulting job to become a literary artist; his grandfather was much less amused, but is recovering.

When not writing—which is rare—Dave is a personal protection instructor, fine art photographer, beer snob and hitchhiker. Last month he debuted his first published book, the nonfiction work “501 Paintball Tips, Tricks, and Tactics,” which is largely what you expect from the title. Every Friday an angry man calls to curse him in French for uncertain reasons that likely pertain to his Las Vegas stories. Fiction editors generally refuse to publish his work, and several Dartmouth College professors actively avoid him.

These things do not deter Dave in the least.

1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Soup, The Outhouse, and the Damage Done' by Dave Norman   SYNOPSIS - A bowl of soup brings two strangers together in an outhouse with a spectacular view, where a deadly accident threatens a spy’s career, a man’s hope for a son, and Bradley Feldspar’s vacation. (Heat 11) 


Yat-Long Poon

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'The Sacrifice' by Yat-Long Poon   SYNOPSIS - Two forces clash over possession of a mysterious object from another dimension. (Heat 1) 


John Post


I am a 20 year-old English major at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas.  I've been reading and writing as long as I remember.  I've published several poems in magazines but no fiction.  I also need to shave and get a haircut.

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Something like a Star' by John Post   SYNOPSIS - a realtor’s visit to a home causes her to reevaluate both herself and the family selling the house. (Heat 15) 


Anne Sagel

Creative writing has been my hobby for many years.  I have been a finalist in numerous screenplay competitions, including the NYC Midnight Screenwriter's Challenge in 2005.  I have recently had two of my screenplays optioned by small production companies.  I'm hopeful that 2008 is the year my hobby will become my profession.  Prior to the first round I had minimal experience writing short stories (I prefer screenplays). I'm very excited and honored to be in the finals.  I thank NYC Midnight for the opportunity to be creative! I am married and have two children.  I currently work part-time as a teacher.  A little-known fact about me:  I volunteer as the manager for Team Nevada--participants in the upcoming U.S. Transplant Games sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. 


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Admiral Wilson and the Big Blue Dragon' by Anne Sagel   SYNOPSIS - A group of children engage in a make-believe battle to win possession of a playground submarine. (Heat 13) 


Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith sees dead people and hears voices.


The dead people come courtesy of her job writing feature obituaries for; the voices entice her into a fabulous world of romantic chick lit--and, no, her heroines don't work in the publishing industry, nor do they wear Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos.
Stephanie resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her four cats, and will be relocating to Philadelphia, Pa., this spring to be with her fiance and his three cats. When she's not writing, Stephanie enjoys scrapbooking, rubberstamping, keeping Southwest Airlines in business, and drooling over Hamid Karzai and Hugh Laurie.
Visit Stephanie on the Web at:


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'A Dentist is a Smile's Best Friend' by Stephanie Smith   SYNOPSIS - On Elizabeth "Liz" Laurie's 30th birthday, her best friend surprises her--with a trip to get her wisdom teeth removed. (Heat 7) 


Richard South

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Left Behind' by Richard South   SYNOPSIS - LEFT BEHIND is a story about a young soldier who, haunted by the pain and guilt of war, is lead to take drastic measures to save a young boy’s life. (Heat 9) 


Joel Steverson

Joel Steverson can’t imagine a life without storytelling.  He’s been doing it for as long as he can remember but didn’t get serious about it until the late 90s.  Joel has been writing for the Sci-Fi and Fantasy gaming industry since 2001 and is best known for his work in the 'Classic BattleTech' universe.  His next material will appear in Tactical Operations later this year.  Joel has been rightly accused of having two speeds:  off and fast.  A friend once said Joel will be on his death bed complaining that it was taking too long to dig his grave—and there’s probably some truth to that.  When he’s not creating new worlds and adventures, his passions include playing guitar, skydiving, rock climbing, and skiing.  He has a sporadically updated page at


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Timing the Memories' by Joel Steverson   SYNOPSIS - Driving two hundred miles to deliver a misrouted letter from a soldier in Iraq is not the sort of good deed most people would undertake, but Chris and Katie are about to discover why the journey really is more important than the destination.  (Heat 18) 


Jonathan Sturak

Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University alumnus and holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Computer Science. Sturak’s passion is storytelling and enjoys writing screenplays and prose based on the real world with a twist of fantasy. He likes to write about and explore the human condition through intriguing characters placed in life-changing and often ironic situations.

Sturak recently moved to Las Vegas in the summer of 2007 where he uses the energy of his firsthand experiences to craft screenplays and stories. His inspiration for his heat-winning short story, The Happy Ending, came from a midnight cab ride around the Las Vegas strip while passing several mysterious Asian massage parlors.

Las Vegas is the backdrop for a feature-length screenplay Sturak has recently finished entitled, Past Due, which is based on a short film he wrote and directed by the same name. Past Due is a dark comedy about the journey of a sheltered young woman from Pennsylvania lost in the exuberance of Las Vegas. He is currently seeking a producer for the film. Sturak keeps updated information on his website at

1st Place **FINALIST** 'The Happy Ending' by Jonathan Sturak   SYNOPSIS - A Las Vegas cab driver working the graveyard shift decides to indulge himself at an intriguing Asian massage parlor, but he gets much more than just a massage. (Heat 9) 


Kate Sullivan


Kate Sullivan is from Quincy, MA, home of two Presidents, the world's second largest crane, and an inordinate number of teen pregnancies. Having no interest in becoming a President, crane, or pregnant teen, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she writes non-fiction for pitifully little money and fiction for fun.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Junk' by Kate Sullivan   SYNOPSIS - An unbalanced young woman finds the life of her dreams in the trunk of a car that is about to be demolished. (Heat 1) 


Erin Thomas

I have lived in Whitby, Ontario for all but a few brief intervals of my life. When I am not writing, I am either chasing my four-year-old daughter or acting as a moving target (supply teacher) for elementary school students. My novel-length manuscript, Pyro: or who to be in high school won first prize in the young adult category at the 2007  Muskoka Novel Marathon and is currently under consideration by a Canadian publisher.

1st Place **FINALIST** 'Daughters' by Erin Thomas   SYNOPSIS - When an alienated mother learns that her Firstborn daughter needs a heart transplant, she must choose which of her children lives and which dies. (Heat 30) 


Paige Varney

Paige Varney has lived in Washington D.C. for the past ten years. She is a graduate of Georgetown University (Psychology/History B.A. '02) and George Mason University (Biodefense M.S. '06). When not at work she is most likely to be found scribbling the beginning of her novel for the thousandth time, re-watching any one of the thousand movies she can recite on demand, or struggling to, but not actually, engaging in some form of exercise. She one day aspires to own a dog; she currently owns a half dead plant named Pheonix.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Whiff of Infidelity' by Paige Varney   SYNOPSIS - Upon returning home from a trip, a woman notices that her husband, who is physically unable to do laundry, smells like a detergent she does not use. She spends her first night back, while he sleeps, trying to determine who the mystery laundress is.  (Heat 29) 


Courtney Weber

Courtney Weber is a writer, performer, astrologer and tarot reader whose fiction has been published on and in Bank Street Magazine. Her short story, "This Is What Gets Me" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and mentioned in "Notable Short Stories of 2004." Under the pen name of Sister Mary Manhattan, she is the author of the cult-favorite, and the host of the monthly stage show, "The Ass-tro Hour with Sister Mary Manhattan" at Stain Bar in Bushwick, a paranormal-themed showcase utilizing storytelling, dance, music, puppetry and bizarre character performance. Courtney has performed as a featured storyteller in "It Came From New York" (produced by Michele Carlo), as well as a stock character in "The Lower East Side Price is Wrong" and the annual "Mr. Lower East Side Pageant" (both produced by Reverend Jen Miller). In February, 2008, she was a featured astrologer and Tarot reader at "Evolver: Wake Up and Dream," in collaboration with Reality Sandwich and Jivamuki Yoga School. She lives in New York City.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Vesna's House of Healing' by Courtney Weber   SYNOPSIS - The greatest thing to ever happen to you…right? (Heat 4) 


David White

As a twenty year veteran of the publishing and advertising worlds, and the author of six novels, eight screenplays and a host of short stories, I have a uniquely wry take on many subjects. From 1940s film noir to modern screwball comedies and eerily accurate conspiracy thrillers, my portfolio is varied and eclectic. You can view and download samples of my writing at

I have two current projects underway. One is a novel called "Eternal Horizons: On the Trail of the Templar Treasure:" a popular cable video crew, headed by a talented psychic who can read the past just by touching an object, is persuaded by an Australian media mogul to search for the legendary Templar treasure. Excerpts can be viewed at

I'm also working on a new screenplay about small town life and how it's being affected by global marketing. "Cossack Gas" is a low-budget comedy set in the same goofy, not-quite-with-it community featured in a previous screenplay, "Lake In The Sky." But in this case, they're faced with losing their only gas station to a giant Russian oil company. If you liked "Best of Show" and "A Mighty Wind," you'll find this little gem amusing, too.

Of course, my three kids (ages 5, 2 and 4 months) try to drain as much energy and time away from my writing as they can. And sucker that I am, I succumb more often than not.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Kissed by Pen and Ink' by David White   SYNOPSIS - Love can be the most difficult element in the Universe to discover, even when you’re a master at describing it for the rest of the world. But when it arrives a little too perfectly and a little too handsomely, even the most perceptive recipient may forget to exercise due caution.  (Heat 14) 


Tiffiny Whitney

A native of Bountiful, Utah, Tiffiny Kaye Whitney will eagerly say she's been a writer nearly her entire life--good or bad being a matter of interpretation. Entering her first writing contest in the second grade with a story about her childhood hero, Rainbow Brite, her body of work has become more unique and original, but no less imaginative or vibrant.  Always having a strong sense of story, Tiffiny has spent much of her life working with short stories, but has also expanded into writing novels, and most recently, screenplays.  Graduating summa cum laude in Film Studies from the University of Utah, Tiffiny relocated to Los Angeles, and continues to grow as both a novelist and  screenwriter.  Currently, she works in the operations department of a well-known banking company, serves as the secretary for the non-profit organization called The Scriptwriters Network, writes for the horror/mystery Podcast series "Wormwood" (,and lives with her boyfriend, the love of her life, Michel.

Regardless of the outcome of the NYC Midnight contest, Tiffiny would like to  acknowledge the strongest influences in her life and the inpirations for her creativity--her family, late grandfather, boyfriend, and every creative writing teacher that told her she wasn't bad. 


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Behind Locked Doors' by Tiffiny Whitney   SYNOPSIS - A physical therapist arrives to rehabilitate a wealthy stroke victim, only to realize that some jobs really need to offer hazard pay… (Heat 25) 


Bill Wilbur

2nd Place **FINALIST** 'I Am Not God' by Bill Wilbur   SYNOPSIS - A man, down on his luck, discovers a tear in the fabric between worlds at the local ATM and the answers he has searched for since the murder of his wife become all too real.   (Heat 23) 


Anton Yakovlev


Anton Yakovlev grew up in Moscow, Russia, but moved to the United States with his family in 1996. He received his B.A. from Harvard University with a double major in Filmmaking and English. He currently lives in Boston, where he works as an editor for Pearson Education, working on custom textbooks for colleges. He has directed several student films and is a member of several poetry workshops around the Boston area.


2nd Place **FINALIST** 'Japanese Puzzle Box #12' by Anton Yakovlev   SYNOPSIS - While sitting in a waiting room to find out about her significant other’s possible job offer, Sonia picks up a Japanese puzzle box and proceeds to figure out how to open it. Inside the box she discovers a detailed set of instructions, which an unknown party expects her to start following right away. (Heat 11) 


Adam Zang

Adam Zang was born on December 10th, 1982 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He saw Back to the Future when he was six and spent three months trying to build a time machine… unsuccessfully. Adam attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota from 2001-2005 and graduated with honors and a BA in English. While at Carleton, he published Carleton College: Off the Record, a 160-page guidebook for prospective high school students. Adam graduated the Vancouver Film School Writing for Film, Television and Interactive Media program in August 2006. He has completed three feature screenplays and optioned all of them.  Currently living in Seattle, Adam is crossing his fingers and believing his producers when they say that production on his feature film, Cole, will start filming in Vancouver, BC this summer.


1st Place **FINALIST** 'Where No One Belongs' by Adam Zang   SYNOPSIS - A teenage Japanese American girl and a white doctor struggle to adapt to life at a Japanese internment camp in Topaz, Utah. Sewing up old and new wounds is not easy in this unforgiving desert…  (Heat 19) 





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