November 29, 2010

The Big Finish

It’s been a long and grueling process, but Oonah and I are finally, after all this time, ready to announce the three winners of the 2010 MicroHorror Halloween Story Contest. Selecting our favorites wasn’t at all easy, but after great consideration and debate three stories rose to the top. Behind the jump, I turn the podium over to the lovely and talented Oonah Joslin to announce the winners.

Take it away, Oonah.

Between the Stairs by Chris Yodice

This superb piece addressed the theme literally, but effectively. We love its simplicity. It draws on very common, primal fears (like those of the dog) and feelings. And which of us has not felt at some time in the past that our “own mom could use a refresher on her Darwinism?” :)

In that turn of humour and with an added ray of sunshine against a yellow curtain, Chris gives us just enough light to make the darkness all the darker. The characters’ actions and motivations are realistic, and the monster is described in just enough detail so that the story never strays from the theme.

Negative Effect by Juliet Boyd

This is an excellent use of the theme. And strangely, (we had discussed this), Nathan and I both have very clear memories of drawing negative space in art class, and the otherness of suddenly paying attention to shapes you’ve ignored before. There is a nice ambiguity in this story over just how much of it is in the narrator’s head and this gives a very “Lovecraft” feel to the writing.

“The spaces wanted to exist and I had been chosen to free them.”

Juliet manages to take this unsettling reality of spaces into the world of relationships so that the space between things becomes a driving wedge between characters and a metaphor for death. Very well “drawn,” we thought, Juliet.

The Space Between Us by Sandra Crook

First of all, this is a fantastic meditation on the theme, and all the different ways space plays into a relationship: sharing space, personal space, needing one’s space. But also, Sandra goes for a twist ending and nails it perfectly. Even when you go back and give it a careful rereading, there were no tricks or cheats in that twist. The misdirection is executed flawlessly and the voice never wavers.

“You always loved a good Montrachet,” it says.

“I’ll see you soon, sweetheart.”

It is a cold, sweet voice that speaks from that ultimate space, the grave. Cheers, Sandra. Mmmm… Maybe not. :)

Thanks to everyone for your stories. It was so difficult to choose. And thank you, Nathan, for allowing me the privilege of setting and helping to judge this year’s competition.

Stay Scary X

Congratulations, Chris, Juliet and Sandra. My most sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to contribute their work, and one final thank-you to Oonah, who has been the best co-judge I could have hoped for. Here’s to next year.

Yours in horror,


  1. Congrats, Chris, Juliet and Sandra! Wonderful stories!

    Comment by Bob Eccles — November 29, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  2. I’m really overwhelmed to be one of the winners of this competition. Thanks to Nathan for providing the platform for us all to exercise our horrific tendencies, and to Oonah for agreeing to lend her considerable abilities as co-judge. (At least it took her out of the running :))

    Thanks again. So pleased.

    Comment by Sandra Crook — November 29, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  3. Inspired choices. A great competition with three great winning tales expertly told.



    Comment by Mark Dalligan — November 29, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  4. Congratulations, all! Good stories. As for me, I shall turn to overindulgence in cheese and beer to fill the empty… space.

    Comment by P. Magnifico — November 29, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  5. Congratulations all – great stuff.

    Comment by Sean Monaghan — November 29, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

  6. Congrats to all the winners. This was my first time writing ‘horror’ and it was lots of fun… and fun reading all the entries, too. So, well don everyone.

    Comment by Dee Turbon — November 30, 2010 @ 4:44 am

  7. Congratulations, Chris, Juliet and Sandra.

    Well written stories and well deserved recognition all around!

    Comment by Chris Allinotte — November 30, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  8. Well done to you all.

    Comment by jennifer walmsley — November 30, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  9. Congrats to the winners – great stories!


    Comment by Nick Allen — November 30, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

  10. Thanks to all for their comments and, of course, to Nathan and Oonah. I am honestly surprised and thrilled. As always, there were so many great stories; I am happy to have mine among them…

    Comment by Chris Yodice — December 2, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  11. Oh my word. I’ve only just seen the results. What a great start to the weekend! Thank you to everyone who commented on my story and of course to the judges. This was my first time venturing into the horror genre as well. Thank you again.

    Comment by Juliet Boyd — December 3, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

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