Third Prize in the OWT Short Fiction Competition!


Today I received the welcome and unexpected news that my story, still titled “The Rollaway,” co-won third prize in Online Writing Tips’s Short Fiction Competition! I have to split the prize money, but of course it’s about the honor, not the money. I’m grateful that they offered to publish the story as well (this is not part of the second or third prizes). Submitting is an onerous and uncertain process, and I may well take them up on this, though this encouraging news inclines me to wait to hear from the few places where the story is already in review first, if the OWT people don’t mind. 

While resolving all this, I look forward to becoming better acquainted with the site and its services, and reading the winning story, which sounds very interesting from OWT’s description. Again, it is so good to have my own views about the special nature of my entry confirmed by OWT’s judges. I look forward to its seeing the light of day somewhere soon.

Photo: My piece of luggage, taken by me.

“Bad Date” Up at Courtship of Winds


I am happy to announce that my story, “Bad Date,” is out in the summer issue of The Courtship of Winds. It is, as always, fun to see it in print, and I still think it is a funny story. I am grateful to Editor William Ray for publishing it, and I look forward to reading more of Courtship. While waiting for the summer issue with my story in it, I have been reading the winter issue, and I especially liked these poems  about the West Virginia Mine Wars by Patti Capel Swartz. (I have not gotten to the fiction or creative nonfiction yet).

I hope you will check out the many and varied offerings at Courtship, and please let me know your thoughts on my story, if you read it.

Photo credit:, Dumpster. 6 June 2012. CC-by 2.0.

“The Rollaway” Makes the Short List!


I found out on the fifteenth that my story, “The Rollaway,” made the short list for Online Writing Tips’s Short Fiction Prize! I didn’t get around to blogging about it before now because I have just returned from a trip myself, just like my protagonist. It seems appropriate that a story about travel should be doing well at the same time I am traveling. It’s also comforting, as I am currently mired in two large projects, and often it seems I will never finish either of them. Again, I am grateful to Online Writing Tips for recognizing the story as among the top twelve out of almost 600, even if it does not win one of their prizes for the top three.

I did develop some concern about the story on my trip, however, because the flight attendants alluded to two-wheeled suitcases like the one pictured above and featured in the story as “rollaboards.” Now I am a pretty meticulous researcher, and I could swear that before writing the story I had checked to make sure “rollaway” was the, or at least a, correct term for such luggage. But on rechecking, I could not get the results I think I remember. Possibly I just typed in “rollaway luggage,” saw some pictures of the right thing, and went to town. 

I felt embarrassed. What if my story won the prize, and the whole world found out I do not know the difference between a piece of luggage and a storable bed? But now my son assures me he heard flight attendants allude to such luggage as “rollaway.” Even if he is right, I am left with the nagging fear that this is a Southern term, like “lightning bug” for “firefly” or “buggy” for “grocery cart,” and that will not fly, since my protagonist is from Connecticut. Any feedback on this pressing concern is welcome.

Photo credit: My rollaboard, taken by me, 2 July 2019.






“The Rollaway” Longlisted by Online Writing Tips

I was pleased to be informed today that out of almost 600 stories submitted to the Online Writing Tips Short Fiction Prize, my story, “The Rollaway,” is one of 60 to be longlisted! I really like this story, which is about love and dreams and missed opportunities, so it is good to know that the judges thought it had merit, even if it doesn’t go any further.

I hope I make the short list on July 15th, but regardless, Online Writing Tips is a site with free online writing tips, and this contest is free to enter, so what’s not to like? I’m grateful.

Photo credit: My rollaway, taken by me, 2 July 2019.