A challenge for our finalists: can your words float above the dissension?
All the votes have been tallied to select our finalists, and it has created a bit of a dilenema: One vote-getter prevailed, but we had four who tied for second place. The plan was that I would add only three names to join Sarah Akhtar and Jon Tobias (finalists by default) for a total of five. But the man who pulls the levers behind the curtain ( His Moiness ), seen here drifting to California in time to host the Fifth Annual Writers and Creatives Reunion on June 16th, has declared that we now have SEVEN semi-finalists. From their response to the new prompt, I will George Bush-it (I’m the decider!), and pare that number down to three, that I will pass on to Pulitzer-Prize winner and friend Jonathan Freedman to select our winner. Each story will of course be posted, but will have very little alone-time on the site, to give Jonathan enough time to select a winner before we announce it at the reunion.
Finalists will have three days from the posting of their names (I will also send them email confirmation) to respond in no more than 300 words to this new prompt:
I was wrong
The words must appear somewhere in your entry, and refer to any episode or event in your life that involved another human being. It can but does not have to be with someone of a race or ethnicity or gender orientation or religion different from your own. Inspire us, by example, to be our better selves.
In no particular order, our finalists are
I believe my reason for this prompt, which at first glance seems to be unrelated to the theme of our contest, will become self-evident as you write, as you dig down deep to discover your own motives and values in a contentious relationship that could only be salvaged or enlightened or healed with humility, compassion, and a willingness and ability to see another’s point of view. Anyone who is not a finalist but would like to respond to this prompt will have their story posted, though ineligible for our prize.
Think of me today at your sunset, when the clouds become cotton candy, and I feast from the gondola of my slow-motion balloon crossing the pond.
And, here, in this three minutes of song, is what our contest has always been about.