Hint Fiction

Seashore

The very awesome and talented Dustin Grella animated the winning story of this year's Hint Fiction Contest. In case you missed it, here's the story:

AT THE SEASHORE by Monica Wang

After the accident that summer, he stopped listening to seashells. The ocean was bad enough—what it told him to do was worse.

Now here's the animation.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/98940570[/vimeo]

Check out more of Dustin's work!

And The Winners Are ...

Over 500 stories were submitted to this year's Hint Fiction Contest. From that 500 a top 20 was chosen. From that top 20, 483 votes were cast. Finally, a top 10 was declared. However, as the creator of Hint Fiction, I felt at least two stories deserved a shot as finalists, so 12 stories were sent to Benjamin Percy. And, interestingly enough, the two stories I included ended up in the top five. Anyway, without any further adieu, I present to you this year's winners ...

1st Place

AT THE SEASHORE by Monica Wang

After the accident that summer, he stopped listening to seashells. The ocean was bad enough—what it told him to do was worse.

2nd Place

OUTSIDE THE FIVE-DOLLAR SHOWERS AT HOOTER BROWN’S TRUCKSTOP by Teague Bohlen

“Got a sleeper cab?”

I nodded.

“Good enough.” She kissed me. She tasted like Old Style, asphalt, and menthols. Not you, but yes, good enough.

3rd Place

RED ALERT by Kevin Curow

Forgot my mask on the subway. Recess was in the bunker, anyway. Momma packed mushrooms again. Gramps says the birds we read about could sing.

Honorable Mentions

BYGONES by Lisa Rubenson

He swirled his cocktail and walked in circles on a pile of my mother’s clothes. Every few steps, we’d hear the crunch of plastic hangers.

NO MORE by Frank Ladd

Steady snow erased her trail to the lake’s precipice. Broken ice would scab by morning, and what would the old biddies in town say then?

 

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Hint Fiction Contest IV Top 20

After much consideration and counsel with close friends -- one of whom is Ben White, the editor of Nanoism -- I now present to you the top 20 finalists of this year's Hint Fiction Contest. It's always tough narrowing down the best stories, and several stories came extremely close to making the final cut. In fact, I could have easily included a top 30. But a top 20 is much more reasonable, especially as I'm now going to open it up to you to vote for your favorites. Out of the 20 stories here, you can pick up to 3 stories. Tell your friends, family, whoever! Every vote counts.

Voting will remain open until the end of the month. Then the top 10 will be sent to Benjamin Percy to pick the winners. The poll box can be found at the bottom of this post (note: for some reason the poll box was not compatible with my current theme, so this rather boring layout is only temporary).

Now here are the top 20 Hint Fiction stories, in no particular order:

EDIT: The stories have been deleted.

Hint Fiction Contest IV

From now until the end of this month, submissions are open for this year's Hint Fiction contest, judged by Benjamin Percy. What is Hint Fiction? 

A story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. Think of Hemingway’s apocryphal six-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It doesn’t have a title, but those six words convey a punch. Not only that, they stand on their own. They’re not the first line of a story, or a random sentence plucked from a longer story.

About the judge: 

Benjamin Percy is the author of two novels, Red Moon and The Wilding, as well as two books of stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His honors include an NEA fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Plimpton Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. His story “Impact” appeared in the Hint Fiction anthology.

Prizes: 

  • 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.
  • All winners and runners up will receive signed copies of the Hint Fiction anthology, as well as signed copies of my very short fiction collection Phantom Energy.
  • Perera-Hussein Publishing House has generously donated copies of their Sri Lankan Hint Fiction anthology Short & Sweet to the winners and runners up as well.
  • Finally, the 1st place winner will also have his or her Hint Fiction story animated by Dustin Grella, who has animated a few Hint Fiction stories in the past (here and here and here).

There is no entry fee.

Not sure what Hint Fiction is? It’s strongly recommended you check out the anthology, which is still available in paperback. Also, Norton has kindly lowered the price of the ebook for a limited time, so you can purchase it for just $2.99 on KindleNookKobo, and iTunes.

You can submit up to two Hint Fiction stories using the form below (subscribers to my newsletter can submit up to three; directions on how to submit the third story can be found in the welcome email). After April 30th, a top 20 will be chosen and will be published online, where readers can vote for their favorites à la American Idol. Then from there a top 10 will be narrowed down, which will be sent to Benjamin Percy (please note that I hold veto power, so if a story I feel strongly about in the top 20 doesn’t make the top 10, I may include it anyway).

Stories should be no longer than 25 words. This does not include the title. If the story is longer than 25 words, it will be automatically disqualified.

Please note: Unless you're a newsletter subscriber, submit no more than two stories. If you submit more than two stories, you will be automatically disqualified.

Using one of my own Hint Fiction stories as an example, please format your stories like this:

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS

It was Fredrick Miller, not his murdered son Matthew, who was executed Monday night at Henshaw Prison.

Good luck!

Edit: Submission period over. Thanks to everyone who submitted.