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Losing Fiction Entrant Critiques Judges, Winners

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Believe me, it is not "sauer [sic] grapes" that compel me to write this letter and the fact that my entry did not win in your recent Fiction Contest (Cover Story, Oct. 18). Accolades are deservedly due to the three winners for their impressive penmanship. They were judged by a panel of scholars and professional writers.

Having said that, I as a reader, found that the first two winners' stories were particularly "heavy" reads. Laced, along the way, with an array of adverbs and adjectives, coupled with a host of "asides" of mini-vignettes, some of philosophical nature, they appeared to obscure the true meaning of the stories and the points they were driving home. A common and less "sophisticated" reader could easily be sidetracked from the crux and sheer entertainment of stories of this kind.

The story by the third-place finisher was in my humbler opinion the best one. It was rather clear, to the point, and void of too many "flowery asides" and details.

In conclusion I would venture to say that had Ernest Hemingway been alive and entered your contest, the simple yet creative beauty of his prose would probably not have qualified him as a winner. He would not have been "sophisticated" and "profound" enough.

Ole Giese
Richmond

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