Anything But Ordinary Short-Story Contest Winners!

In Lara Avery’s novel Anything But Ordinary, Bryce Graham is 17 one day and when she wakes up next, she’s 22. After a tragic accident during the Olympic diving trials, Bryce slips into a coma and stays under for five years. Her family, best friends, and even her boyfriend eventually move on, believing she’ll never wake up.

But then she does.

Inspired by the tangled web of waking up five years older, we challenged you to write a story about a character who wakes up after years in a coma and is reunited with somebody that they used to know. You wrote, voted, and we sent the winners to Lara Avery for judging. We’re now pleased to announce the winners!

Grand Prize: Jane Doe Meets Keely James by Sarah Appleyard

Lara says: Prose was tight, concise, and rich with information about Keely and her situation. Reflective but kept a dramatic pace in small, revealing moments, like the change in coffee and Keely’s voice. I love the line, “Even so, she was comforted to see him, because he saw her.” The shift in perspective stood out from the rest of the pieces; a risk, certainly, but it paid off in moments that tell us clearly what Declan wants out of Keely. (“He wanted to shake her shoulders and shout, ‘Wake up!'”) Because we know what’s at stake (Keely’s ability to reconnect with the world), we root for her when she decides to take it on. 

Way to go, Sarah! You will receive copies of Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery, BETA by Rachel Cohn, Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone, Carter’s Unfocused, One Track Mind by Brent Crawford, and False Memory by Dan Krokos.

Second Prize: Safe and Sound by Kristi D

Lara says: The prose was raw and hard-hitting in this piece, perfectly in sync with Eva’s gripping situation. Eva’s strength and desperation was consistent throughout, all the way to her decision to sacrifice herself for her sister. I wish it could have been even longer!

Congrats, Kristi! You will receive copies of Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery, Cinders & Sapphires: At Somerton by Leila Rasheed (out in January 2013) and Poison by Bridget Zinn (out in Spring 2013).

Third Prize: Goodbye by Nora Kingman

Lara says: This story had me opening my mouth in shock! Kudos on a creative twist off of the prompt. The imagery—”white room with white sheets on the white bed” and “pale woman scurries in”—is compliantly cold and creepy to the horror-inducing content. 

Bravo, Nora! You will receive a copy of Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery.

Well done, guys! And thanks to everyone who participated!

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