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The Fiction Issue

New stories by Deirdra McAfee, Mary Mullins and Stephen Moegling, winners of our second annual Fiction Contest.

But best of all, there were stories — lots of them. More than 225 of you answered our invitation to submit your best unpublished fiction no longer than 2,500 words. You created characters, settings and plots. And as we read, we entered your worlds.

Since deciding to inaugurate our fiction contest in 2003, we've learned that Richmond truly is a literary city, with creativity bubbling out through the suburbs. So how did our judges whittle the entries down to the final three?

They looked for compelling stories, imaginative language and a clear, compelling theme. They sought to be refreshed — with unique content, an unexpected plot twist or familiar subject matter treated in a surprising way.

Through it all, we wanted imagination. And that's what made things difficult. Because we found it in every story.

We hope you'll enjoy these three winning entries as much as we did, and that you'll join us for a reading by the winners at Borders, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. The store is at 9750 West Broad St, and admission to the reading is free. — Jason Roop

The Fiction Contest winners...

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