Yesterday the results of the 4th Annual Micro Award were announced, and the winner was ... not me. Instead it was “Choosing a Photograph for Mother's Obituary” by Kevin A. Couture which appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of The Antigonish Review. I did, however, come in second place, or as the runner-up with my story “Seven Items In Jason Reynolds’ Jacket Pocket, Two Days After His Suicide, As Found By His Eight-Year-Old Brother, Grady” which appeared last April at PANK. It has always been a favorite of mine, and I'm thrilled that it placed where it did with the award. Here's some of what Alan Presley, the new Micro Award administrator, had to say about this year's stories:
Congratulations to Kevin A. Couture for winning the 4th Annual Mirco Award and the $500 prize! His outstanding story, "Choosing a Photograph for Mother's Obituary," returns the realist tradition to the winner's circle. This poignant narrative, told exclusively through snapshots, paints a remarkably vivid picture in under 400 words. Well done, Mr. Couture!
Congratulations are also due to Robert Swartwood for taking the first-ever Runner-up award and a $100 prize. Mr. Swartwood entered this year's competition as the Micro Award's only two-time finalist. He can now add this to his already impressive résumé. At just under 1000 words, "Seven Items In Jason Reynolds' Jacket Pocket, Two Days After His Suicide, As Found By His Eight-Year-Old Brother, Grady," presents a compelling mystery.
The other eight finalists are quite a diverse group, including literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and more. It is interesting to note that six of the ten stories this year touch on either birth or death in some fashion. I suppose this is reasonable as those are arguably the two most important events of one's life.
Check out the site for details on the other finalists (one of them being Hint Fiction contributor Natalie McNabb) as well as some interesting stats, such as how many stories were submitted, whether they were by e-mail or via post, and from what countries they came from. A big thanks to Alan Presley for pumping some fresh blood into the Micro Award (it had been stopped for awhile there) and for this year's judges Megan Arkenberg, Gay Degani, and Chad Simpson. And a big congratulations to Kevin and the other finalists.