Judging amiably: The time has come, AGAIN!

His Moiness-in-Chief  has selected six finalists.  Three are pulled-a-name-out-of-a-hat selections, and three are the ones that carved a heart on a tree with my initials inside, next to theirs.

Finalists are:  Sonja Bichsel for A Deadline, Again, Sal Buttaci for Redemption, Monica Brinkman for The Game of Life, Mike Casper for The Stars in the Sky-the Comets Flashing By, Parisianne Modert for Alejandro’s Duende Passing, Kristy Webster for Where the Breaking Matters, and Laura Girardeau for Walking in Suburbia.
(What?  Seven? You must have miscounted)

(His Moiness scaling back expectations)

And I must confess (actually, I choose to confess) that had Mac Egan not specified he was a non-contestant, he would have been among my own top three.

Everyone who entered the contest may cast three votes in the comment box below, one for each of their three favorite entries.  Authors may not vote for themselves, and  write-ins are also ok.  Feel free to express why you voted as you did, but keep it brief.

Readers who commented but did not submit a story themselves get two votes.

All votes must be in by Monday,(not Sunday, as originally stated: our analytics indicate that many readers only look at our site while they are under-paid to be stuck in a cubicle at work) midnight, PST.  Winners announced Tuesday evening.  New contest announced Wednesday.

And this just in!

Several contestants have asked that their votes are kept private to avoid bruising those sensitive feelings that differentiate writers from the rest of the world.  If you prefer, you can send your votes to me at thorn@awordwithyoupress.com


All who entered the contest and wish to vote for a favorite must submit THREE choices.  Those who commented on the stories, but did not submit a story of their own are REQUIRED to list TWO stories, not just a single favorite.  Failure to comply will disqualify your single vote!  Vote on line, or email me your choices if you wish to have your selections remain anonymous!

Monday Morning Bulletin:

AS of 8:00 am time in the ‘Cow (the only time that matters!) we have a three-way tie going!  Many voters chose to be anonymous and have been emailing me their favs.  Remember: if you entered the contest, you must submit THREE favorites; if you commented but did not enter, you must denote TWO favs.  Failure to do so disqualifies your vote.

The voting is tighter than the noose around the judge’s neck.  If you entered the contest, feel free to post a link of it on FB and invite your friends to stack the votes in your favor. HOWEVER, they must select other favs as well, commenting on other stories. The results so far are surprising, especially if all you see are the votes that people chose to make pubic–OOPS!  PUBLIC!


The staff bar-b-que at the Towers that are A Word with You Press

54 thoughts on “Judging amiably: The time has come, AGAIN!

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Being arrogantly blunt, I honestly believe that my own three stories were the three best entries into this contest with the one chosen for the finals being the weakest of my three. Regardless, thank you for the honor of being a finalist.

    Because I am not allowed to vote for myself, I cast my three votes according to the rules above as follows:

    1 vote for Laura Girardeau (I think her other story was better than the one selected)
    1 vote for Kristy Webster (I preferred both of her stories to her poem that was selected)
    1 vote for Kyle Katz (4th on my overall list as a right-in, because of her vulnerable-insightful-love phrases)

    As honorable mention I would like to praise Kenneth Weene who had the best poem of this contest in my opinion without a close second.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      I voted this way I did, because I didn’t see the e-mail first and the instruction here only mentions using this online form to vote. This site never mentions the e-mail choice; although I think people are entitled to the private ballot choice. My only regret other than not having a fourth vote to cast for Kenneth Weene and that Mr. Mac Eagen recused himself from the competition.

      • Monica Brinkman says:


        Others vote here also and some prefer not to do so. We love you and would never hold it against you. Fact is, I always learn from other authors and the diversity within the contest stories and tales amaze me. I appreciate, as others do, you taking time to comment on our writing. Thank you so very much my friend. And I have to say, your honest and humor is wonderful.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          I’m not at all against voting by e-mail, but I live on a 27″ computer screen. My understanding is that no one got a vote unless they left remarks on at least one story. Am I incorrect? Well, that is transparency in opinion.

          I really like that A Word With You Press is being promoted, readership, submissions, subscriptions and business services are being increased. With that said, I did read every single submission, left at least one well thought out comment or critique on every single one. I have my opinions and everybody else who wishes to vote who is eligible has theirs.

          A judge, which a voter is, is in the awkward position of making an educated opinion based on all the allowable, exhibited evidence available which is what the entries are. I also took the more serious critiques of substance into consideration as well as the authors’ explanations if germaine.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Sadly, I doubt that Laura, but I am glad that you do. Honesty is lost if the argument is not fully understood. I try to be both transparent and articulate unless I am being intentional evasive which I have been within “One-way Ticket to Pluto”.

          The greatest prize to me in this contest; although I really love Ed Coonce’s clock creation, which I have seen in person, is the opportunity to be the next “judge” during the next contest. Does anyone else here so desire that assignment with the knowledge that they are therefore disqualified from the next competition?

          Judging is a responsibility that weighs heavily with the necessity of personal detachments other than to honor AWWYP as an assigned, but temporary staff member and be equally fair to all contestants and all entries. I am a rebel, a contrarian at times, an advocate for the least of us and minorities, but I would fight for the rights of my worst enemy if they were truly wronged or their free speech was infringed upon.

          • Parisianne Modert says:

            I want to add that the only fair votes in my opinion are those from people without any pre-conceived agenda or alliance. At the time I voted today, I can truly say that each of my three votes were without agenda; although part of voting is subjective. My only indecision would have been if I had been the final word deciding between Kristy and you Laura. You are both equally worthy of being the winner of this contest in my opinion so I would have had to call it a draw.

  2. Michael Stang says:

    In celebration of judging, like the roster sheet posted on the wall outside of the teacher’s room, my humble decisions are public:
    Sal’s “Redemption, although not my favorite of his submissions, gets a vote.
    Brinkman’s “Game of Life”.
    Webster’s “Breaking” receives (in my opinion) top honors.
    Best of luck to all.

  3. Thornton Sully says:

    If you are a reader, and not a participant, you must indicate TWO stories, not just one. Please read the stories other than just the one that you voted for to give this contest credibility. Thanks!

    • Thornton Sully says:

      Each reader, if they left a comment but did not enter the contest, must indicate TWO stories that they prefered over the others. If you ENTERED the contest, you must indicate THREE stories. This will prevent the contest from becoming a popularity contest, which everyone knows I would win even if I didn’t enter!

      • Monica Brinkman says:

        No agendas here. Excited for once to be a finalist with my mentors/peers. Adore you all and feel saddened a bit of my joy to finally be selected as a finalist has annoyed, when all I wished to do was mingle with my friends, write and have fun. That’s it.

  4. Mac Eagan says:

    To keep things brief, as requested, I am only going to list the links of the stories I am voting for. I have left comments at each story. I have also left a few comments on other stories, and I intend to go back and comment on others, as well, but wanted to at least get my choices recorded.
    These are listed in the order of the open tabs on my browser (ooh, an open tab . . .)

  5. Stef says:

    I shall risk the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head (and I got the feeling someone’s gonna be cutting the thread)! I will award one point to three contestants and they are in no particular order:
    1) Sal Buttaci (Because he captured a time warp in 350 words): 1 vote
    2) Mike Casper (Because now I want a margarita): 1 vote
    3) Laura Girardeau (Because she found life in a lifeless suburbia): 1 vote

    Congrats and bon chance to all of our finalists!

  6. Parisianne Modert says:

    I wish the eventual winner of “Again” a well deserved congratulations, because the people of this community will have spoken by way of voting. I appreciate any vote I received, any consideration, any reading of my story (ies), any casual comments and critiques and the opportunity to read so many fine stories and poems.

    It is essential, in my opinion, that A Word With You Press thrives as a business, so I congratulate our editor in chief and pun, Thorn as well as all the fine staff at AWWYP for such a successful launch. Welcome back and may there be even greater days to come. Thank you.

  7. Parisianne Modert says:

    How now mos-t-Cow? to our Mother Goose in Chief
    And came the reply as relief:

    Monday’s child is fair of finals’ exposed and hidden face,
    Tuesday’s child is full of hanging-chad, noose-tight grace ;
    Wednesday’s child is full of “Again” announced losing woe,
    You’re an Addams, Miss P, so bury your ego and just let go.

  8. Monica Brinkman says:

    My e-mails is down; ah those pesky servers from providers who shall remain nameless lest I spill earned wrath against their names. Patience wearing thin after a month of e-mail issues but will smile and move forward, for there are many worse things in life.

    Ah, I hear the beckoning call of another contest in the horizon. Whatever shall it be?

  9. Loicia Ware says:

    Im voting for Mike Casper – The Stars in the Sky-the Comets Flashing By, Parisianne Modert – Alejandro’s Duende Passing, and Monica Brinkman – The Game of Life

  10. Parisianne Modert says:

    Thank you for voting for me Loicia. I found my copy of “The Coffee Shop Chronicles” from AWWYP and read your story entitled, “Caffine Buzz”. I enjoyed this story, published in 2010, much as I have many of its flash fiction collection stories. Many of these authors have gone on to publish with AWWYP and/or have competed in this contest including yourself.

    May I compliment you on how far you have come as a writer since then in my opinion? Your present story reminds me of the quick pace, sharp double-edged dialogue of a vey excellent writer friend of mine whom pushed more buttons than everyone else added together. She has a lot to do with why I share my advice, my critiques and why I have drastically improved as a writer.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      My advice to writers is thank your harshest, quality critics the most. They freely offer substance of complaints and advice about your writing more than most by taking time to be honest. Most of us need destructive as well as constructive criticism to become better writers. The professional writing world is brutally competitive when your books hit the big time critics. I thank all of you who have critiqued me as you saw fit.

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Respectfully Thorn, the nastiest comment I ever got (she stood up waved my writing, screamed at me why she shouldn’t throw it in the trash, because she saw no proof that I was a legitimate writer) made me reexamine every single word of every single poem/story in editing. She backed up her argument with solid critique in writing seeing my arrogant resistance to critique taking it to my grill. Her own writing is flawless which means she walks her tough walk. False pride needs to be destroyed . I am grateful to her.

          • Thornton Sully says:

            She did not inspire: she intimidated. And it sounds like it was done without love. I have waaay to much experience seeing how to get writers to produce their best, and NONE of it employs water-boarding. Look over the course of time how writers who enter these contests have improved their craft.

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