As our Facebook group members know, we’ve been hosting short story competitions every month to showcase the amazing writers that are part of the Prolitfic community.
Words have power—and not in the magic spells, chant some words and your dog turns into a turtle kind of way, but in the way that has inspired revolutions and ideas and actions in our day-to-day lives.To explore this potential within every writer, along with how power shapes the interactions around us, the theme of Prolitfic’s 2018 September Fiction Competition was “power.” Contestants crafted powerful stories of love and loss, crime and friendship, and we loved reading each one of them.
The 1st place winner, Sophie Bonifaz, won for her story The Juggler, a crime drama about a poor teen juggler who dreams of making a difference, only to realize, as the story’s synopsis writes, “he’s believed in lies.” 2nd place winner Bailey Morrison’s Starting to Forget details the lyrical, tragic aftermath of one girl’s experience with loss. Both stories explore different facets of power—what people will do to grasp power, how people react when power is taken away—with grace and knife-sharp prose. These stories are powerful for both their content and the writers’ way with words.
Of course, we can’t forget to credit the amazing judges who took the time to read and evaluate all the entries submitted. Our first judge is Gina Briganti, a hybrid author involved in self-publishing and indie publishing primarily focused on romance with paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi subgenres. She also publishes non-fiction on the topics of self-improvement and Reiki (a Japanese healing technique.) Check out her blog, ginabrigantic.com. Our second judge is Rachel Brooks, a literary agent at BookEnds Literary Agency who represents adult romance, women's fiction, young adult, and cozy mysteries. Queries can be sent via her form here.
Emily Dickinson once wrote, “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it until it begins to shine.” These stories—and many others—certainly glitter, and stand as poignant examples that in a society where power (and lack of it) is all around, words are some of the most powerful tools we can wield.
Check out these stories and more on our read page!
Sophie Bonifaz is a freelance writing consultant and assistant currently residing in Houston, TX. She is writing a fiction book about the deities of death with her Canadian writing partner, Rose Usenica. Sophie also loves editing, researching, and dancing, as well as attempting to learn the skills her characters possess (making sewing patterns from scratch is hard, y'all). To learn more about Sophie, visit scbonifaz.com. To learn more about her book, visit @longwaydownbook on Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon.
Bailey Morrison promotes books for the University of Texas Press and writes in her spare time. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Find her at baileymorrison.com.