It’s all up in the air: finalists announced


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

Shawna Smart

Riley Sampson

Katy Keim

Jon Tobias

Sarah Akhtar

Miryam Howard-Meiers

Laura Elizabeth


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.

3 thoughts on “It’s all up in the air: finalists announced

  1. Thornton Sully says:

    Our 5th Annual Writers and Creatives Reunion will be held at Rancho Villasenor, 1302 Stewart Street, Oceanside, California on Saturday, June 16th from 4:00 until? BYOB, and a dish to share. We had a hundred people last year, but this year hope to limit it to the first 50 or so, to give each writer more time on the mic to read a page or two from their work, update us of events of the past year, or share an upcoming event. For details or rsvp: Full details posted soon.

  2. Shawna A Smart says:

    Hmmm.. I was very surprised when this unscheduled second entry with a three day window appeared (without warning) and also I am so confused. I thought Jonathan was going to be judging the contest? Anyway since this washed me out of the contest (since I had no prior knowledge of any further deadlines, especially off topic from the advertised one) I want to wish the rest of you the best of luck…

    I am out.

    Good luck folks.

    • Thornton Sully says:

      Shawna I am so sorry for the misunderstanding. The intent had been that Jonathan would judge the finalists and the posts have reflected that. I sent an announcement to all the finalists along with a new prompt. Many people have multiple emails. Is it possible you did not receive notice with everyone else? If that is the case let me take responsibility for this oversight and invite you to send me something to enter within the next 72 hours. We all value your talents and contributions to this important dialog and I speak for the whole community here that we would love to accept your finalist entry given the circumstances. I will send what in my view are the best three for Jonathan to select the winner. Please email me. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.