Our winner for our short story contest is “Hell in the Hallway” by Deborah Spera.
Here is what our judge Beverly Rogers had to say about the story:
The exquisite short story draws you in immediately.Within the space of a few finely placed words you want to know more; you want to know why; you are in media res.
In its cohesive structure, no gratuitous circumstances exist. Every character is necessary. Language, whether literal or metaphorical, clearly conveys meaning—every conversation counts and every descriptive phrase brings you closer to knowing a character or feeling like you understand a situation.
The voice of the storyteller drives the narrative. That voice also makes whole all those who people the landscape. As in a novel, or long-form work, characters’ actions must be consistent with their thoughts and their speech. The shorter tale, however, requires that drive and character development to occur in much less time. That is a tall undertaking.
“Do I care?” “Does anything stick?” These are two of the important questions I ask myself when reading a short story. “Hell in the Hallway” answers yes. It’s raw; it’s sparse; it’s real; it lives.
Spera will be awarded a $100 cash prize for her winning story.