I needn’t have worried. Sixteen great writers answered the call, writing some inventive, clever, funny and twisted takes on fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Alas, as good as every single story was, there can only be one winner, and that writer is:
Nigel Bird, for his dark take on “Sing a Song of Sixpence.” Nigel’s storytelling is always top-notch, and that was on display here. He blends a great eye for detail with an economy that makes every sentence count.
In second place is “The Flying Trunk” by Jack Bates. Based on an Aesop fable of the same name, Jack’s story was one of the longest submitted, but he kept my interest throughout with steadily building action, some real drama and a great last line.
Third place goes to Loren Eaton‘s “King Flounder: A Monologue.” There was a lot to like here. A monlogue of this length is tough to pull off, but Loren does so admirably with a lot of detail that never feels one dimensional. And his take on, from what I can tell, is a fairly obscure Grimm tale, really takes off creatively from the initial premise.
Nigel wins two short story collections from the wonderful Tyrus Books, while Jack will receive on Tyrus collection. Loren wins an ebook forthcoming from the generosity of Spinetingler‘s Brian Lindenmuth.
I wish, of course, that I could give an award to everyone, as the stories were that uniformly solid. The good news is that every one of those 16 stories is out there for your reading pleasure. And perhaps wiser people than me will be able to figure out how to do something with all of this great work in the same way the folks behind the “Discount Noir” collection did.
Thanks again to everyone who submitted, read the stories and commented. It was a blast. I’ll definitely be doing this again.
And, as promised, here’s my story, the idea that kicked off this entire endeavor, “The Master Cat.”