“Lots of people have heard of love at first sight, but this was something else entirely. Hate at first sight would be close, but not quite right; ‘Hate” didn’t evoke the deep, burning feeling that Arthur felt in the center of his chest the first time he saw the kitten. Loathing at first sight. That was more like it.”
So begins the winning tale from the 2012 Gaithersburg Book Festival short story writing contest for high school students.
The three winners, who read their stories after being announced at the Gaithersburg Book Festival this afternoon, were:
“Neither of us could believe we selected a winning story that was told from the perspective of a cat,” said award-winning mystery author Brad Parks, who selected the winner along with fellow 2012 featured author Jennifer Miller. “But right away we had to know: Was Arthur the cat going to kill the new kitten? The suspense really pulled us through the narrative and Katie’s voice was absolutely charming. I only hope she has more stories to tell.”
In addition, this year the festival organizers implemented a voting system on the finalist stories so that festival attendees could vote for a “Fan Favorite.” The winner was Andrew Qian of Boyds, Md., a junior at Clarksburg High School.
Contest finalists also included
The contest drew 141 entries from 14 jurisdictions: Anne Arundel County, Arlington County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Frederick County, Gloucester County, Howard County, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Prince William County and Washington, D.C.
Three local volunteers served as round one judges, narrowing the stories down to 13 finalists in a blind judging process. Two published authors, who were featured authors at the festival this year, served as the round two judges: Parks, author of “The Girl Next Door: A Mystery,” “Eyes of the Innocent” and “Faces of the Gone,” and Miller, author of “The Year of the Gadfly.”
The finalist stories can be read online at: http://gaithersburgbookfestival.org/short-story-entries.
About the Gaithersburg Book Festival
The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers, and literary excellence. Now in its third year, the Festival has become one of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 19, 2012, on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, with shuttle buses running from Lakeforest Mall. Activities include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; a Coffee House with poets and singers/songwriters; onsite book sales, both new and used; exhibitors and, of course, food, drink, ice cream and more. Admission is free. For more information please visit www.gaithersburgbookfestival.org.