The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

May 18, 2012

'They hath the drowning mark upon them...'

(With apologies to Shakespeare and Théodore Géricault.) 

And so we now have a raft of 20 invitees for this year's Watery Grave contest. Before I break the happy news about the lucky ten whose names erupted from the lottery hat, a word about the judges. We are so, so fortunate this year to have three volunteers for the panel, but even more fortunate that each one of the judges comes with stellar credentials for the task at hand. No, I won't tell you who they are yet, anonymity being the soul of integrity as it were. I'm just saying to all of you invitees, bring your A game, a'right?

Okay, so that's that. There were six invitees participating who received an automatic bid due to where their stories placed in last year's contest, and there are five writers who received the solid gold, once in a lifetime personal invitation. Ten out of those eleven writers are even now sweating drops of blood over their respective keyboards. Those ten writers are:

Chris La Tray
Eric Beetner
Chad Eagleton
Ian Ayris
Nigel Bird
Matthew Funk
Sandra Seamans
Chad Rohrbacher
Fiona Glass
Kathleen Gernert Ryan

And now for the lucky ten who received the remaining invitations, in the order their names came out of the hat:

A reminder to the invitees that there is no theme this year. Just start writing and give the judges a great original crime story of 3500 words or fewer. A piece of advice: check and double-check your work. Triple check it. Read it aloud to yourself to aid in catching errors, because we will not edit or proof your stories, and what a shame it would be to lose because the judges couldn't understand whether you meant "the man had a gun" or "the man had a gut."

Please email your stories to me no later than NOON, EST, FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2012, at I can open pretty much any type of text file, so use whatever software and format you like. And...



  1. Good luck to all. I'm looking forward to reading stories from this talented bunch.

  2. Wow. That is a hell of list. Hope I can keep up.

  3. The man had a gut - nice.

    So, I have my idea at last.