WAIL!... The CBZ Journal
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November 2002
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Short Story Contest: And the Winner Is...

[Note: The best of the rest short stories, as picked by the CBZ crew, will be featured in later issues of WAIL!.

Also, an extended thank you goes out to Katherine Dunn who had the kindness to judge the entries. She had a few things to say on her experience, so here is...]

A Word from the Judge
By Katherine Dunn

The submissions for the first ever CBZ short story contest were impressive in the variety of approaches taken by different writers. Some used vivid inside descriptions from the point of view of a boxer. There were elegiac reminiscences, personal memoirs, and some adventurously creative stomping of stereotypes. What these diverse stories had in common was their powerful effort to express a love and understanding of the sport, and of the people who make it the lush story jungle that it has always been.

Judging writing is even more subjective than judging fighting. There are no defined rules, goal posts, or even points to be added up at the end. It often comes down to what appeals to you in a personal way. In choosing "On Assignment," I was struck by the lean and effective techniques that set the scene and create the characters. The dialogue is smart and believable. While there is no elaborate plot, the story creates a realistic atmosphere and answers with subtle skill the repeated question at its heart. I liked it.

And now, read the winning story! It's also available as PDF.


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