In the last week I helped judge a hint fiction contest on the short-short story site Rammenas. The definition of hint fiction is a story in 25 words or less that hints at a larger story.
I wrote the judges' report. If you want to see what happens when Gary has to judge someone else's writing, you can read it here. That report was dangerously close to the blind leading the blind, but it was interesting to be on the other end of the critique analysis, just for a change.
It was also terrific fun working with fellow judges Martin Hingley (follow the link if saxophones are your thing) and Marcel Warmerdam. All three of us are 40+ males who've worked in IT. When we talked over skype it sounded like an IT analyst conference.
In the end we couldn't decide between two excellent entries, so they both won. I hope I'll be forgiven if I repeat them here:
Found, by Lisa Vooght
Found your USB drive in the desk. Beautiful photos, touching music selections. Curious as to the 2 obituaries. Mine and yours? What gives?(There's a link to Lisa's blog on her name, but I don't think it's showing.)
Strangers, by Mike Jackson
We both entered the shop together, total strangers. I wanted milk, he wanted money. I had a credit card, he had a gun.
(Update: I've popped in a link to Mike Jackson's blog.)
Rammenas is an English/Dutch site run by Anneke Klein, who I am overjoyed to say has her own book of short stories on the way. Here's the cover draft!