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

June 26, 2012

Watery Grave Winners for 2012!

It's been far too long since I posted. But at least now I have something worth posting: The winners in this years Watery Grave Invitational. But first, let me blab a bit. Your three judges this year were J. Kingston Pierce (The Rap Sheet); Elizabeth A. White (The Book Review Blog); and Patricia Abbott (author and blog: pattinase). Each of them proved to be, as expected, diligent and attentive to the task before them. I cannot thank them sufficiently for the time and effort they expended, and I'll be very surprised if any of them volunteer again!

I can honestly say that the judging for this contest has never before been so difficult. To illustrate how tough it was for these three judges, each of whom is more than qualified for the job, to reach a consensus, NOT ONE story made all three of the judges' top five lists. There are five to fifteen possibilities for those initial top five lists,  and the judges named 11 stories. Getting to an agreement on just five stories, and the order of those five, was daunting. Our Congress should be so good and graceful at compromise. BTW, Elizabeth has reminded me that I should tell you that the judging was blind. The stories came to me first and I stripped the identifiers, both public and hidden, from the stories before sending them on to the judges, who were anonymous until this announcement.

Enough sympathy for the judges already.  All you care about is who won, right? My congratulations to the winners. And to everyone who participated, my sincere thanks for making this year's contest so very competitive. You can all be proud of your work.

For the first time, the WGI has a repeat winner. Chris La Tray won last year and duplicates his success this year.

1st Prize: GENNY BOW by Chris LaTray ($50 & a bye into the next WGI)

2nd Prize: FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK by Mike Wilkerson ($35 & a bye into the next WGI)

3rd Prize: THE DROWNING OF JEREMIAH FISHFINGER by Ian Ayris ($20 & a bye into the next WGI)

4th Place: TWO KILOGRAMS OF SOUL by Keith Rawson (A bye into the next WGI)

5th Place: ABOLITION OF MIDNIGHT by John Higgins (A bye into the next WGI)

Congratulations once more to the winners. And to everyone who participated, my sincere thanks. Without all of you, there is no WGI. The other entries in the contest were:

Badge of Honor - Fiona Glass
Bleeding Lipstick - Fiona Johnson
Family Secrets - Eric Beetner
Forgotten - Jen Conley
Karma - Albert Tucher
Scorpion - Matthew Funk
Swallow - Chad Eagleton
The Amateurs - Chad Rohrbacher
The Blue Danube Waltz - Nigel Bird
The Devil's Shinbone - Benoit Lelievre
The Haves and Have Knots - Sandra Seamans
The Safe Job - Kathleen A. Ryan
The Scene Of the Crime - Frederick Zackel
The Temperature At Which Love Freezes - Katherine Tomlinson
Train - Thomas Pluck


  1. great stories all over the place

  2. Indeed. You may want to have first crack at some of these stories for NEEDLE, Steve.

  3. Well, my WGI baby's looking for a home!

  4. What Steve doesn't take for Needle, I'd love to see for Grift. Looks like a great list.

  5. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to Naomi for sponsoring the WGI. It's always fun to be part of it.

    And now I have a story looking for a home, too.

  6. Congratulations to all involved. Some tasty writers there.

  7. Fantastic crop of entries. Made the judging very difficult. Fun, but difficult. Congrats to all the winners.

  8. It's a heck of a field to compete in, happy have even made the top five.

  9. Congratulations to everyone. I look forward to reading the stories wherever they may land!

  10. Thanks to everyone, especially the judges. It's a great thing to be a part of.

  11. I recommend the authors take Steve and John up on it. NEEDLE and GRIFT are good homes for good short crime fic.

  12. Congrats to all the winners! Back-to-back wins, Chris? Niiiice.

    Good to hear that some 'zines might snap up the stories. Thanks for all the hard work of everyone involved.

  13. Thanks to Naomi and the judges who so generously gave of their time. It was a privilege to participate in the WGI with a stellar lineup of writers. Congrats to Chris for his second win ~ how awesome ~ and to all who placed in the top five ~ and to all my fellow contestants who worked so hard on their stories. It would be great to read them in NEEDLE, GRIFT, or THE DROWNING MACHINE, or wherever the stories might find a home.

  14. Huge congrats to everyone involved--and to the judges. Can't wait to read these stories.