Phillip Madeira was the kid that made me believe in God. The nuns at St. Joes couldn’t do it. Choir boy, first communion, confirmation—the holy shebang. None of it stuck until this neighborhood kid, Phil Madeira from across the street, christened me in God-fearing guilt and solitude. Mad Madeira we called him, called from outside rock-throwing range. He was the local tantrum kid, a splay-footed wailer of menacing oaths, a crier of elephant tears…
By: Richard Schmitt – Posted: May 20, 2013
By: Brad Windhauser – Posted: May 13, 2013
On the day of his mother’s wedding, Brian’s father took him to see Star Wars. With his feet sticking to the ground, they snaked their way into the back row of the theater and Brian’s father handed his son the tub of popcorn, the butter leaking down the side and onto Brian’s fingers. There, as the daunting back story scrolled up the screen, Brian heard his dad sniffle. As the little rebel ship flew through space, pursued by the awesomely huge intergalactic star destroyer, Brian saw his father cover his eyes and lower his head.
By: Joan Wilking – Posted: May 6, 2013
He said he thought it would be easy. He’d been dying for such a long time. Twelve years to be exact. He remembered the day the doctor told him: a Wednesday.
By: Pete Pazmino – Posted: April 29, 2013
The dusty yard feels cool, though the day has been unseasonably warm. On the far side of the rusted chain-link fence trots a dirty white dog, some mangy stray. Its shadow is long in the setting sun’s light. Its shaggy head sways from side to side as its nose travels the ground. Odessa watches it paw at a clump of wilting weeds and take something in its mouth. Chicken bones, probably. Uncle Daddy always tosses wings over the fence. It makes Mama angry when he does it, but he still does.
By: Tom Sheehan – Posted: April 22, 2013
Mount Carmel Road was a quiet dead end in the north section of town. And in the middle of the night when the war in the Far East was over and the radios blared out the news, all the lights went on in all the houses on that blind street, except where the card game was being played.
By: Bruce Holbert – Posted: April 8, 2013
I grew up in the American West and reside here, still. In the West, story is the amniotic fluid from which we are thrust. We may not later recognize its taste or scent or syrupy weight in our lungs, but neither are we inclined to distinguish the acrid pine in the air or the doughy aroma of damp wheat if we have never lived far from the forest or ranch…
By: Cheryl Diane Kidder – Posted: April 1, 2013
Her shoulders were like poured cream, translucent, the blue veins swimming just underneath. The sharp little bones a magnificent scaffolding. I always used to kiss her on her shoulder. When she got older, I just knew she’d shrug me off, roll her eyes and say “Mom” in a way meant to tell me my worst fears had come true.
We’ve promised publication in past Literary Awards Programs, but the fact was that SFWP is a very small indie press. I went into massive debt to publish our first four titles, starting in 2005, and am just now moving out from under that. And it’s a good time to be doing so… The publishing industry [...]
By: Maui Holcomb – Posted: January 22, 2013
“You know,” I said to Gwen between the snores of some guy I didn’t know, “I wasn’t always a literary celebrity.”
She sat next to me on the balcony painting her nails for the fourth time that night. Well, morning now—we’d been awake all night again. Staccato, destructive sounds echoed from a game console inside, and the unknown guy shifted on the faded beach chaise the other side of Gwen, rubbing his nose.
“I nearly went into finance.”
Last time, we met the judges, now let’s take a look at eligibility. This is always a question, and I tried to clear it up a bit this year by creating this page. Basically, everyone is eligible, as long as you aren’t receiving the support of a major publisher or you’ve won the SFWP award [...]
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