What’s your fiction?
Readers tell their stories in 59 words
If your fiction requires only 59 words, do you need a microprocessor to get it out? Wouldn’t the best tool be a sharp new No. 2 with a clean pink eraser? Or maybe there’s a better story in the nubbin, wet with bite marks, both ends whittled into service and just enough left to make it to “The end.”
Not much of a story there but, hey, it’s 59 words long! And that was the challenge the Chico News & Review put to its readers for this annual contest: Write us some fiction in 59 words exactly—not one more or less.
And you met the challenge. Hundreds of stories by local writers were submitted, and once again, we have members of the 1078 Gallery’s Literary Committee—Jeff Hull, Hilary Tellessen, Sarah Pape and Angela Youngblood—to thank for sifting through all of the entries and picking out the best of this year’s best in four different divisions—adult, high school (grades 9-12), junior high (grades 6-8) and kids (grades 5 and under).
Also back this year were a fair number of disqualifications due to miscounted words. So, we had to toss out some from both junior high and adult divisions for being over or under the 59 words (which is why the junior high section is a little sparse this year).
Thank you all for taking part as we devote these pages to Chico’s creative spirit.
Notes: One of the honorable mentions in the adult division is a story by Josh Cozine, an intern at the CN&R. Names are stripped from all stories before judges receive them, so his identity did not influence their decision.
And in the high school division, two of the top finishers and three honorable mentions are by students at Table Mountain School inside Butte County Juvenile Hall. In order to protect their privacy, only first names are included with their stories.