The winners of the 29th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest were announced this week.
Among other motifs and issues, relationships emerge as central to the three first-place stories in the Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories.
Characters of all stripes grapple with their own and others' stubbornness while contemplating the opportunities of the future and the mistakes of the past. The personalities and situations in these stories ask readers to consider how they relate to and treat those closest to them.
The Palo Alto Weekly would like to thank the 115 writers who submitted work to this year's contest; the readers Danielle Truppi and Sharon Levin, who selected the top entries in each category for the judges to consider; the Adult and Young Adult category judges, Tom Parker and Meg Waite Clayton; and the judges for the Teen category, Katy Obringer, Nancy Etchemendy and Caryn Huberman Yacowitz. The Weekly also like to thank the contest co-sponsors, Bell's Books of Palo Alto, Kepler's Books of Menlo Park and Linden Tree Books of Los Altos.
The stories and biographies of all nine first- through third-place winners, and audio recordings of the writers reading their stories, can be found here.
Complete list of winners
Teen, 12-14 years old
1st place: "Ivan and Natasha" by Deiana Hristov
2nd place: "The Skeleton Man" by Tjasa Kmetec
3rd place: "The Myth of Apollonia by Catherine Vera
Young Adult, 15-17 years old
1st place: "Mistranslations" by Hannah Knowles
2nd place: "Time of the Angels" by Caroline Bailey
3rd place: "A Distinct Shade of Blue" by Zarin Mohsenin
Adult, 18 years and older
1st place: "Place of Waiting" by Ian Sears
2nd place: "The Graduate" by Rayme Waters
3rd place: "Ashes" by Margaret Young