The Department of English is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Flash Fiction Contest. The judge for this year is Cara Blue Adams. The student winners will be reading with Cara on Wed., Feb. 9 at 4:10 p.m. on Zoom. Please join us!

WINNER: Laura Bedser ’23, “Better Left Unsaid”

Our judge said the following about the winning entry:

“Better Left Unsaid” is written in crisp, beautifully controlled prose that allows us to truly experience the story, about the narrator’s brother’s suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization. The details are apt, too, and the dialogue is strong. The story deftly creates complex characters and significant stakes and does so efficiently, setting things in motion right away so that at the end of the story, we’ve traveled a significant distance from the beginning. It brought to mind realist story writers in the minimalist tradition with a talent for depicting the subtle and variable effects of grief, including Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Tallent, Mary Robison, and Ann Beattie. Overall, this story is an impressive accomplishment.”

Laura Bedser is a junior English and Religious Studies double major at Lafayette College. She loves to be surrounded by words whenever possible. Laura is a College Writing Associate, an editor and writer for Lafayette’s chapter of Her Campus Magazine, and a member of the Literary Magazine Club. She is excited to further pursue her love for storytelling while studying abroad in London this upcoming semester.

Honorable Mentions:

Claire Brassil ’22, “Think of Me”

Cara Blue Adams said the following about “Think of Me”:

“This untitled story’s strength lies in its skillful use of detail and its depiction of a devotion that is not returned; both the speaker, who appears to be a childhood toy, and the addressee, a child who has grown up, become vivid characters. A favorite passage that evokes disconnection and loneliness: “I was there when you decided to become an author. The first female Fitzgerald you said. I replied Zelda, but you didn’t hear me, or maybe you just didn’t laugh.”

Claire Brassil is a senior at Lafayette College, double majoring in Government & Law and Economics. After graduation, she will be moving to New York City to work in investment management. She loves to write, cook, and spend time with friends.

Roman Daniel ’22, “A Vampire in Tromsø”

Cara Blue Adams said the following about “A Vampire in Tromsø”:

“A Vampire in Tromsø” gives us a character and a place in vivid detail, and by the story’s end, a change has occurred in the main character, who is tired both of the excitement of fear and of the dullness of fear’s absence. There are a number of winning descriptions, including this one: “Everyone I meet is paler than me. It’s as if the snow sat up, put on a parka, and started walking around.”

Roman is a senior year English and Gov/Law major. This is the third time competing in the Flash Fiction contest. When writing these he usually thinks of a title first then writes the story.

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