Congratulations to Chris, the writer behind Sinda Essen and Jhen Thelev, who has won the November & December 2014 Writing Challenge. This is Chris’s sixth win, an unprecedented number in the history of the Challenges, so special congratulations to him. Judge Jamie, the writer behind Lt. Cmdr. Sal Taybrim, had this to say about the piece:
I think the plot and the twist was well developed and delivered. The whole idea behind the piece was one of the best of the round. I particularly liked how you sprung the Klingon attack with very little preamble. Marsha was surprised, the audience was surprised, it pushed the action forward in a big burst – a very nice effect!
This round’s runner-up was a first-time entrant, the writer behind Maxwell Traenor, who received his honor because of his short story “Chocolate.” My comments, as judge Cassandra Egan Manno:
It’s as stilted and awkward as I’d expect a first contact between a physicist and an alien over food and drinks to be. What really makes that atmosphere work, though, is that it revels in its minutiae — the untranslatable “cuisine” and “dessert,” the description and delight involved when Maxwell eats that desert. In my experience, it’s very difficult to write an awkward story that isn’t constantly tripping over itself to prove its awkwardness, but “Chocolate” pulls it off: We’ve already seen, by the time the dessert arrives, how uncomfortable Maxwell is feeling, so that provides a whole different perspective with which to view his sudden obsession with the dessert. … The twist, such as it is, is both funny and oddly touching, as Maxwell’s companion protests ignorance and Maxwell himself doesn’t ever want to stop eating. “Delightful,” in retrospect, is definitely the right word to describe “Chocolate.”
Please drop by the forums to offer these writers, and all our entrants, your congratulations if you haven’t yet done so!