For this year's Boise Weekly Fiction 101 Contest—our 14th annual—there were enough entries to produce a stack almost an inch thick. As is always the case, themes emerge and, this year, we read many tiny tales about family, childhood, violence, nature, love and sex. Writers of great short fiction have the power to concentrate and explore ideas about which the rest of us may only sputter, and while there was some sputtering, more than a few entries soared with clarity, incision and, most importantly, economy.
A recap of the contest rules: Authors wrote works of short fiction precisely 101 words long. Judges, without knowing writers' identities, selected winning entries.
The winners are an excellent batch of short stories ranging from whimsical to realistic to surreal, some of which offer harrowing window into human experience.
You'll find the winning entries reprinted below, and please join us for a reading of these entries at Rediscovered Books (180 N. Eighth St.) on First Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.
The Cabin Executive Director
Boise State University instructor of English and author of Naked Me
Story Story Night co-founder
Bookseller and writer
Boise Weekly staff writer
Special thanks to Idaho Humanities Council Executive Director Rick Ardinger