The first year after Henry’s death, the Blackwells cleared the hilly land. By the next spring, a half-dozen acres were ready to plant. On a frosty March morning, Mary headed to Harrisonburg. In her right pants pocket was ninety-two dollars folded over with twine into a tight, thick wad. She could feel its weight on her thigh, but she reached into her pocket just to feel it, to touch it and make sure it was still there. This was her and Henry’s life savings, and most of it would be spent that day on those little black specks of gold called burley seed. The future of the Blackwell family depended upon seeds.
By: Sarah Martin Byrd – Posted: June 11, 2010
By: Elizabeth Edelglass – Posted: January 11, 2010
Ginnie and Roger were already planning next year’s trip, when they’d just arrived for this year’s annual family vacation, one of the lesser Caribbean islands with a Catholic-sounding name. They preferred to just call it Paradise, as in Next year in Paradise we’ll rent a car for the far beach, the one with the goats. When their daughter Maxine was little, Roger would hoist her on his shoulders to hang their bag of peanut butter sandwiches from a high branch so the mangy gray goats couldn’t nuzzle for a bite. By next year, Maxine’s baby would be old enough to make goat sounds, if Ginnie sang “Old MacDonald’s Farm” like she used to with Maxine.
By: Anne Whitehouse – Posted: January 5, 2010
It’s strange to grow old. I feel I’m the same person inside. All my life I was around people more or less my own age, and suddenly there are hardly any left. I think about death all the time. I guess you could say I’m apprehensive. I don’t want to suffer. I live my life as if my actions could make a difference, but I suppose at heart I’m a fatalist. Whatever happens, happens. I have to accept the fact that my efforts might not have the results I want them to have.
By: Patricia Grace King – Posted: December 15, 2009
All the dogs in Guatemala are like this. It’s what Laurie wants to tell her, this college sophomore crying in the street over yet another brutalized puppy, except she can’t imagine a worse moment for explanations. “Come on, Arabella.” Laurie touches the girl’s sharp-boned back. “We can’t just hang around out here. Not in the [...]
By: Thomas Sullivan – Posted: December 7, 2009
About six months ago I was reading through an email from an action group and a light bulb went off in my mind. The message encouraged me to support the JUSTICE (Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools in Counter-terrorism Efforts) Act, which I did. But what caught my attention was the acronym. I sat there staring [...]
Mark Shannon is one of the 2009 Awards Program finalists. Below is an excerpt from the prologue and first chapter of his entry, In The Land of Cane.
2009 SFWP Awards Program finalist Mary Larkin presents Where Luck Lies. This story has since been published in Shenandoah .
By: Rion Amilcar Scott – Posted: November 20, 2009
Snow fell again like feathers tumbling from the sky and when they hit the concrete, they dissolved into a clear liquid.
The old joke that Phoenix used to tell Jalen when it snowed back in Cross River was that he’d spotted two snowflakes that were exactly alike. It was never that funny, or even original, but year after year he’d tell it and cackle as loudly as he did the first time Pop Pop or his father (he couldn’t remember who told him the joke) first said it way back when he was five or six. Now, Jalen wasn’t around to hear the joke. Cliff was, but he was a poor substitute. It seemed he had forgotten how to laugh.
From 2009 Literary Awards Finalist Robert Gately comes Henry’s Secret.
2009 SFWP Awards Program finalist Mary Larkin presents The Heart Is a Slow Learner. This story has since been published in The Red Mountain Review.
The SFWP Journal was founded in 2002 and is home to an eclectic group of authors. The journal's mission is to recognize excellence in writing and provide a voice for the SFWP community. Find out more about us right here. Interested in writing for SFWP? Please visit the submissions page for more information.