News from Competition HQ

We will always post Literary Taxidermy news here on our website, but we encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list for the latest updates, including announcements about the next Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition.

05 November 2018 — LATEST UPDATE

Thank you, everyone, for the enthusiasm you've shown during this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. It's been a wild ride. We hope you had as much fun writing your stories as we had reading them. And if you didn't submit a story this year, we hope you'll stick around for next year's competition. We look forward to giving you a new set of first and last lines, and seeing the marvelous taxidermies that result.

Thank you also to the honorable mentions and finalists of all three contests. And of course to our three winners: Jenny Hanson, Shanta Gyanchand, and Nina Kaushikkar. Great work! We hope to see you again next time!

And when will the next competition start? We can't say quite yet. But stick around, or subscribe to our mailing list, and we'll let you know. A lot will depend on your continued interest in literary taxidermy. So why not start by showing support for both the current and future competition by picking up one, two, or — why not! — all three anthologies from this year's contests. We think you will have as much fun reading these stories as we did!

 

02 November 2018

We're pleased to announce the WINNER for the PARKER contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. We loved the way this story's contemplative narrator moved through time, and the simple conceit of telling a story through a length of silk. The interpretation of Parker’s first and last lines was both bittersweet and beautiful. Selected from hundreds of submissions, this story of the near future impressed, delighted, and thrilled our early readers and final judges. Finding gems like this is the reason we run the competition, and we know you'll love reading it, too! Please join us in offering congratulations to...

    ✰ Nina Kaushikkar, an eighteen-year-old American student from Illinois, and author of the short story "Usha's Sarees."

You can find her story, as well as those of all our Parker finalists, in the 2018 anthology of literary taxidermy, TELEPHONE ME NOW. Please support future competitions by grabbing a copy today!

 

31 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the WINNER for the HAMMETT contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. We loved this story’s imaginative conceit and the interplay of its characters; and Hammett’s final line was the perfect “moment of truth” for a husband's relationship with his wife. Selected from hundreds of submissions, this story of the near future impressed, delighted, and thrilled our early readers and final judges. Finding gems like this is the reason we run the competition, and we know you'll love reading it, too! Please join us in offering congratulations to...

    ✰ Shanta Gyanchand, a British writer living in Pune, India, and author of the short story "Genesis."

You can find her story, as well as those of all our Hammett finalists, in the 2018 anthology of literary taxidermy, AGAINST THE BARAvailable now! And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the winner of the Parker contest later this week!

 

29 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the WINNER for the CARROLL contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. We loved this story’s playful format, its narrative indirection, and its casual world-building; and we thought the use of Carroll’s first and last lines was both clever and adept. Selected from hundreds of submissions, this story of the near future impressed, delighted, and thrilled our early readers and final judges. Finding gems like this is the reason we run the competition, and we know you'll love reading it, too! Please join us in offering congratulations to...

    ✰ Jenny Hanson, Australian author of the short story "May 8th, 2025."

You can find her story, as well as those of all our Carroll finalists, in the 2018 anthology of literary taxidermy, ONE THING WAS CERTAINAvailable now! And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the winners of the Hammett and Parker contests later this week!

 

26 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the FINALISTS for the PARKER contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. From dog thieves to stock brokers, from fed-up housewives to dangerous boyfriends, from bucolic daydreams to medical nightmares — these nineteen stories, selected from hundreds of submissions, delighted both early readers and final judges. And all these stories will be included in the literary taxidermy anthology TELEPHONE ME NOW, soon to be published by Regulus Press. We're sure you'll love reading each of them! Please join us in offering congratulations to all the Parker contest finalists — great work!

    • Robert Atkinson, "Skip Counting"
    • Hayleigh Clarkson, "Rue de Dubois"
    • Will Clements, "Counting Inches in the Emergency Room"
    • Shona Cook, "Chronometry"
    • Jack Slater, "The Breaking Point"
    • Justine Gardner, "Nature Will Provide"
    • Ellen Grace, "Happily Ever After"
    • Arynn Haws, "Everything After"
    • Jocelyn Hoyle, "Still Movement"
    • Nina Kaushikkar, "Usha's Sarees"
    • Josh Lefkowitz, "My Final Lover"
    • Joseph Maguire, "God? Please."
    • Jill Nicole Marcotte, "Sugar Skulls"
    • Eleanor Musgrove, "Cleanup"
    • Mark Scheel, "Three Calls and a New Rabbi"
    • Cara Schultz, "Not at Home to Callers"
    • Max Stanton, "A Game of Telephone"
    • Ashley Stewart, "A Promise"
    • Grace Kimberly Teeples, "Underwire"

And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the winners of all three contests next week!

24 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the FINALISTS for the HAMMETT contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. From hard-boiled detectives to fashion-fail teens, from dissembling mothers to pre-assembled lovers, from advertising rodents to time-traveling girlfriends — these sixteen stories, selected from hundreds of submissions, delighted both early readers and final judges. And all these stories will be included in the literary taxidermy anthology AGAINST THE BAR, soon to be published by Regulus Press. We're sure you'll love reading each of them! Please join us in offering congratulations to all the Hammett contest finalists — great work!

    • Juan Pablo González Arboleda, "Between Two Foothils"
    • Kerri Ashes, "Thursday Afternoon"
    • Kale Brown, "Stories between the Floors"
    • Mateusz Buga, "The Slub Man"
    • Asumini C., "Assumptions"
    • Ryan Davis, "Served Cold"
    • J J Dolmage, "Missing Nora"
    • Sean Fallon, "Me and Mimi"
    • Peter Golubock, "I Sing the Body Electric Sheep"
    • Shanta Gyanchand, "Genesis"
    • Fiona Hardy, "Mary Madeleine's Initial Complaint"
    • Patrick Roycroft, "Unsatisfactory Man"
    • Andrew Segal, "Afterworld Souls"
    • Esme Stokley, "No Names"
    • Kate Felix, "Female Jockeys"
    • Molly Wilson, "Nora's Anniversary Present"

And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the finalists from the Parker contest later this week!

22 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the FINALISTS for the CARROLL contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. From nosey neighbors to alien lovers, from examinations of race to explorations of alcoholism, from concrete poetry to Lovecraftian horror — these twenty stories, selected from hundreds of submissions, delighted both early readers and final judges. And all these stories will be included in the literary taxidermy anthology ONE THING WAS CERTAIN, soon to be published by Regulus Press. We're sure you'll love reading each of them! Please join us in offering congratulations to all the Carroll contest finalists — great work!

    • Hildie S. Block, "Dig If You Will"
    • Ned Herbert Boyden, "The Library"
    • Jenny Hanson, "May 8th, 2025"
    • Beau Jackson, "Curses"
    • Kathy Renee Jeffords, "What Happened to Prissy McGibbon"
    • Samantha Johnson, "Serpent King"
    • Tyler Jones, "Smooth Edges"
    • Mel Kennard, "Kit and Nella"
    • Amber Logan, "KTN 2.3"
    • S J Matthews, "In The Know"
    • Diana Mayes, "The Sunny Spot Murder"
    • Sean Patrick McGinley, "Psychopomp"
    • Eleanor Musgrove, "Starcat"
    • A. R. Delano, "Storyteller on a Tangent"
    • Rhiannon Pickstone, "The Clouds and the Stars"
    • Barbara Corrado Pope, "Indecision"
    • Jessica Schmid, "The Indigo Jar"
    • Shyamal R Swamy, "Literary Kittens"
    • Samantha Thorn, "The Final Truth"
    • Kathleen Wright, "Breaking the Silence"

And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the finalists from the Hammett and Parker contests later this week!

19 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the honorable mentions for the PARKER contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. Although these stories did not make it into the Parker anthology, they all reached the penultimate round of selection, impressing our many readers. We're certain you'll be seeing more from these writers in the future. Please join us in offering congratulations to all the Parker contest honorable mentions!

    Yomn Alkhazaali, “-31.5” • Amy Bojang, “All at Sea” • Corina Clancy, “Call Me Cleopatra” • Cathy Day, “Forever A Part” • Essie Dee, “Working with Numbers” • Olivia Edwards, “Beloved Significant Other” • Sean Fallon, “Sext” • Dorothy Faulk and Marianne Nicol, “The Calling” • Deb y Felio, “New York, New York” • Lara Haynes Freed, “Belonging” • Ana Gardner, “The Recursion Problem” • AV Bruce, “The Trumpet” • Emily Hanlon, “Reunion” • Kirsten Irving, “The Tombola” • Samantha Johnson, “The Jellybean Bet” • Molly S. Kelash, “Death by Numbers” • Bethany King, “Silence” • Rachele Krivichi, “In the Shop” • Carol June Martin, “Pub People” • Lynn Maver, “The Whole Picture” • Rachelle Longé McGhee, “Femme Fatale” • D. A. Madigan, “Parker” • Charlene Mertz, “Thanksalot” • Skylar Nitzel, “Frozen Time” • Kierri Price, “Arithmomania” • Elaine Ricci, “A Dark Obsession” • Sierra B. Ryan, “Before Texting” • Vinnie Sarrocco, “Last Moments of Velma Barfield” • Danielle Sepulveres, “Girls Interrupted” • Jennifer Smith, “Naxos” • Sierra Smith, “The Consequences of Ignoring the Rain” • Bryan Teague, “What Is in Front of You” • D. J. Tyrer, “Inspection”

In recognition of their fine work, every honorable mention will be listed in TELEPHONE ME NOW, the Parker anthology. And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the finalists of the all three contests next week!

17 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the honorable mentions for the HAMMETT contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. Although these stories did not make it into the Hammett anthology, they all reached the penultimate round of selection, impressing our many readers. We're certain you'll be seeing more from these writers in the future. Please join us in offering congratulations to all the Hammett contest honorable mentions!

    Emma Atkins, “Speak Easy, Say Nothing” • Stephen Austen, “Sanctuary” • Tabitha Bast, “Between Whores and God” • Heather Bourbeau, “Red Stone Haunting” • Kim Dicso, “Bookcases and Bullets” • Findlay Donnan, “Plastic Love” • Andrew Dovey, “The Tornado” • Paul D. Erland, “The Slender Thread” • Julie Fitzpatrick, “Old School Ninja” • Nicole Harris, “Poison in the Green Bottle” • Matthew Hauser, “Still Me” • Morgan Jeffery, “A Stranger in the Speakeasy” • Linda Baten Johnson, “An Honest Mistake” • Larry C. Kerr, “Christmas Angel” • Monet Lessner, “What She Wanted to Know” • Samuel Thomas Mannell, “Marmalade” • Carolyn Marguet, “Call Me Gwen” • Jim Mentink, “Triple Scrutiny” • Laura Morley, “The Profusion” • Sarah Pottinger, “Mrs. Giles” • Debbie Robson, “On Fifth Avenue” • Bethany Russell, “10 Cents” • Joanna Carla Santoso, “The Grim Reaper That Abandoned Her Duty” • Michael Seaton, “Better Watch Out” • Michele Thasim, “Buddy and the Girl” • Rhonda Trunnell, “Dames and Demons” • Marie Wilson, “Marty Saves Christmas”

In recognition of their fine work, every honorable mention will be listed in AGAINST THE BAR, the forthcoming Hammett anthology. And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the honorable mentions from the Parker contest later this week!

15 October 2018

We're pleased to announce the honorable mentions for the CARROLL contest in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. Although these stories did not make it into the Carroll anthology, they all reached the penultimate round of selection, impressing our many readers. We're certain you'll be seeing more from these writers in the future. Congratulations to all the Carroll contest honorable mentions!

    Ian Ableson, “Darwinian” • Hazem Abu-Ghazaleh, “After the Tulips Bloomed” • Timothy Borella, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feline” • Heather Carson, “The Black Cat” • Ailbhe Cashell, “Black and White, and Red Herrings” • Annina Claesson, “Cat Burglers” • Brian Douglas, “Atoned” • Sean Fallon, “The Kitten God Heresy” • Angelique Marie Fawns, “Wog World” • Jenni Ferwerda, “Sugar and Spells” • Jonathan Fore, “In Shadows” • Meghan Franky, “Pansy” • Laura A. Freymiller, “Katrina” • Sarah Gardiner, “The Loss of Winning” • Elsha Hawk, “Charlene’s Tails” • Natalie Hayden, “The Great Escape” • Carrie Hsu, “A Butterfly’s Blood” • E.E. King, “A Morality Tail” • Isabelle LaPapa, “The Traitor's Secret” • Carol June Martin, “Windwords” • Sean McConville, “Stopping by Woods” • Kyla McDonald, “Fishing” • Jeffrey A Messick, “What a Kitten Wants” • Sean Morton, “Around the Block” • Linda Mullaly, “Cats of Bedlam” • Tommie Olson, “Level” • Ylva Østby, “Pink Daisy Wallpaper” • Jennifer L Porter, “Kitten Roulette” • Guy Preston, “A Catnap Well-deserved” • Elaine Ricci, “The Whole Kitten Caboodle” • Hannah Todd, “Mr. Snuffles” • D. J. Tyrer, “At the Kitty Kat Klub” • Katherine McShane Urban, “Desert Creatures” • Dale Venables, “Everlasting” • Sydney Winner, “The Ink That Sealed My Future”

In recognition of their fine work, every honorable mention will be listed in the forthcoming Carroll anthology ONE THING WAS CERTAIN. And stay tuned! We'll be announcing the honorable mentions from the Hammett and Parker contests later this week!

10 October 2018

The time has come! Almost.

Next week, we will begin to announce the honorable mentions, finalists, and winners of the 2018 Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. We're excited to celebrate these incredible authors and to share some of their amazing stories. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's competition!

24 September 2018

We've got some exciting news! Thanks to the incredible response to this year's competition and the outstanding quality of the submissions we've received, we've decided that we will publish not one, not two, but three anthologies of literary taxidermy.

ONE THING WAS CERTAIN   will contain the best stories from the Carroll contest. AGAINST THE BAR   will contain the best stories from the Hammett contest, and TELEPHONE ME NOW   will contain the best stories from the Parker contest. Each anthology will contain fifteen to twenty stories, all of which start and end with the exact same lines.

Stay tuned. We'll be annoucing this year's honorable mentions, finalists, and winners shortly. More updates to follow....

24 August 2018

It’s been a smoky few weeks here in the Pacific Northwest, with ash from fires in British Columbia and California darkening our skies. The bright side, though, is that we've been indoors and focused on the task at hand: reading all the stories, poems, and epistles that draw their first and last lines from The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. And we’ve done it — finishing more than 250 tales of Nora at the bar! And some fantastic tales, indeed!

So neither smog nor ash nor heat nor irritant volatile organic compounds in the gloom of night stays our editors from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, and we've now read everything — all the Carroll, Parker, and Hammett stories — and over the next few weeks, our editors will be selecting the finalists for publication in this year’s literary taxidermy anthology, and shortly thereafter our judges will select the winning story for each competition.

Stay tuned. We're in the final stretch. More updates to follow....

08 August 2018

It’s been another busy month of reading, and we’re pleased to announce that we've finished reviewing all the stories, poems, and epistles that draw their first and last lines from "A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker.

Soon our judges and editors will hunker down for their next task — selecting their favorite Parker taxidermy stories. Winners and runners-up for all three contests in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition will be announced sometime in the fall.

Stay tuned. More updates to follow....

07 July 2018

It’s been a busy month since the close of submissions, and we’re pleased to announce that we've finished reading all the stories, poems, and epistles that draw their first and last lines from Through the Looking-glass by Lewis Carroll.

Soon our judges and editors will hunker down for their next task — selecting their favorite Carroll taxidermy stories. Winners and runners-up for all three contests in this year's Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition will be announced sometime in the fall.

Stay tuned. More updates to follow....

06 June 2018

It's been a busy week at Literary Taxidermy HQ, as you can imagine, but we've finally got our heads above water. And WOW — what an incredible three months it's been!

For this year's competition, writers came from around the globe — including the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Russia, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. They took the opening and closing lines from The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, and "A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker, and fashioned their own original stories (of up to 3000 words) in-between them. The stories spanned more than a dozen genres, including horror, science fiction, meta-fiction, poetry, satire, and romance. During the past week, submissions were coming in faster than we could process them. It is no exaggeration to say we are overwhelmed by the number and enthusiasm of this year's participants.

Of course just because the submission phase of the competition is over, it doesn't mean our work is done. In fact, now comes the fun part! We've counted, collated, organized, and filed every story; and over the next few days we will be distributing PDFs to our editorial team so they can read the thrilling heterogeneity of your 2018 stories, poems, and epistles. Once our editors have reviewed every story, we will be passing your best work to our illustrious judges. Winners and runners-up with be announced sometime in the fall.

04 June 2018

The submission period has closed for the 2018 Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition. Thank you everyone for your enthusiasm and participation — it's been a thrilling three months! We're still processing many of your submissions, so if you've sent us a story in the last few days, it may take a few more days before you receive confirmation. (If you haven't heard from us in a week, let us know.)

Oh, and if you haven't already, please consider paying the voluntary entry fee. You don't have to pay it — it is voluntary — but if you submitted a story and you're feeling generous, well-off, flush, sympathetic to artistic endeavors, unusually affluent, or just in a good mood, pop over to this page to help make sure we get to run this competition, or something like it, again.

Thank you again for all your support. We can't wait to read the stories you have stitched together!

...Stay tuned for competition updates throughout the summer....