Semi-finalist #8

Name: A.E. Martin After a three month leave I was looking forward to going back to work, even though that involved dealing with demon politics that made being stuck between a rock and a hard place look like a cozy place to take a nap. When I left the parking lot though, I had a […]

Semi-finalist #9

Name: Crystal Licata If I would have known I was going to die before my xxxxxx birthday I would have definitely been more reckless. Like ran off with some hot college guy to the city for the weekend or chopped off all my hair for once. Or simply just stopped wasting my time planning my […]

Semi-finalist #10

Name: Laura Josephsen

Wen stood outside the dragon’s cave,his shield on one arm and a small glass bottle of invincibility potion clutched in his fist. The full moon shone brightly down on him and he looked up at it,trying to judge if it was at the right position. The contents of the glass bottle were […]

Semi-finalist #11

Name: 1000th.monkey

It’s easy to forget that crazy is relative, like how I never think about Triss’ driving until someone new gets in the back of her car.

Last week she offered to drop Dave and Sam at the mall. When Triss spun the wheel and yanked up on the e-brake, Sam clocked me in […]

Semi-finalist #12

Name: Kendra Gale

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.

The wind was blowing, and I`d gotten chilled from the walk home fromschool, so I’d taken my book into the parlor and curled up in the patch ofsunlight on the hardwood floor, up against the back of the big leatherchair that had been Father’s. The sun was […]

Semi-finalist #13

Name: Jenny Kaczorowski

Emma hadn’t slept in three days. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw the river again. Saw her again.

She shuddered and forced herself to watch the mourners gathering around the grave at the base of the hill. The black-clad figures clung to one another, finding comfort in knowing they didn’t […]

Semi-finalist #14

Name: Laura Chapman

In a few short hours, Elliot Lynch would find herself buried under a mound of work. She could hardly wait.

She was home to work for Engagements, her family’s wedding and event planning business. Her sister had run the wedding side of the business for years, and now it was her turn. […]

Semi-finalist #15

Name: Jesi O’Connell

I wake up with a very small, very ticked off firedrake sitting on my chest.

“Aw, crud,” I mutter. Sunlight stabs through the light curtains jigging in the breeze. I’ve overslept, big time.

Sassy hisses in displeasure and taps me with an indignant foot. Luckily, her claws are as tiny as the […]

Semi-finalist #16

Name: Melinda Williams

My knuckles slam into the head cheerleader’s perfect nose. It feels great. Real great. Well, inside it does. My hand burns like hell.

It’s halftime, and the gym reeks of boy—sweat, bad breath, and cheap cologne. Silence drums in my ear so loud it hurts. There are hundreds of faces on […]

Semi-finalist #17

Name: Susan Francino

Caspric looked down at the servant blocking the door. “Why exactly can’t I come in?” “I have orders from Sir Drake that you’re not to be allowed.”

“Oh really?” said Caspric, raising a dark eyebrow. “Well, although you take orders from Sir Drake–” He reached around the servant and put his hand […]