Unique Specimens 

Our seventh annual fiction issue.

click to enlarge cover20_fiction_200.jpg

They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Well, for the second year in a row, we decided to keep our prompts short and our stories shorter. With a 1,000-word limit for entries — and a minimum of 25 words — we delved again into flash fiction, forcing our writers to be succinct, compelling and unusual.

Naturally, some stories hit closer to the mark than others. We became familiar with a mysterious fellow named Carl in the spirited “Memo to Carl” and the classic but venomous “Carl's Potato.” We discovered unusual interpretations of the fiction genre in the form of letters of resignation, job applications, gratuitous restaurant reviews, press releases for bridal shows and even a love letter to author David Baldacci.

We learned that we can try to feng shui a crack house but there's no way to peaceably rid our own homes of an infestation of fairies. We fought off zombies and vampires, gawked at road kill and sadly shook our heads at numerous bloody murders, suicides, breakups and love matches gone awry.

We guffawed, we whimpered, we paused and reflected. Then we went back through all of them, sifting through Richmond's collective unconscious to find the hidden themes, secret messages and truths humming beneath the texts. We named winners and will award cash. And we also gathered our favorite lines, ideas and images, and present them here to cast further insight into the mind of the Richmond writer, and the culture that spawned us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. — Valley Haggard

FIRST PLACE: From the Museum of Lost Smells


RUNNER UP: Dad's Blue Chevy

RUNNER UP: Visiting Day

The Judges

The Objects

BONUS CATEGORY: Freudian Slipstream

BONUS CATEGORY: Tiny Pulitzers

Man of Few Words



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Proposed Tax Increases Draw Arts Groups, Musicians and Cigarette Vendors

    • ^ how many of the so called creative class are riding around town with "Part…

    • on April 26, 2017
  • Re: Bon Air Residents Petition Against Goodwill

    • How about a methadone clinic instead?

    • on April 26, 2017
  • Re: Proposed Tax Increases Draw Arts Groups, Musicians and Cigarette Vendors

    • They should cut the admissions tax, not raise it. The city ought to be removing…

    • on April 26, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Cover Story

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation