Short Story: One More Last Call by Forrest Simcoe

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

One More Last Call  by Forrest Simcoe

Reading Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the winning writer: 

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

My story is about two people coming to terms with the fact that their relationship is over. It starts in the aftermath of the breakup, and so much of their history is hinted at throughout the story. This is their final goodbye to each other; accepting that it’s the end for them not only as lovers, but for their deep friendship as well.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Drama, Romance.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Love. Acceptance.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Oh man, it’s probably a tie between Donnie Darko and A Walk to Remember – two vastly different films, I know, but they have always been two of my top favourites.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

It came to me pretty quick, actually. Once that inspiration hit I had it down in probably an hour.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Catcher In the Rye by JD Salinger. Probably not the most original answer, but it honestly is my favourite. It resonated with me at a very young age.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

There are so many breakup stories that have the characters just hating each other. I wanted to show a different side – the deep friendship and love and respect my two characters have for each other. It doesn’t always have to end in anger.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

It’s a tough call! Again, like the movie question, I’m going to make it a tie between actor Zachary Levi and singer/songwriter Lights. They’re both so good at what they do, but they’re even better human beings. Their passion inspires me, and how genuine and kind they are – they just want to make the world a better place in what ways they can and they care about their fans in a way that is unlike any other I’ve seen.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Mental health awareness. I’ve been living with mental illness for more than half of my life and I want to do whatever I can to help get rid of the stigma. A lot of my writing is about my struggles. I grew up with music all around me; I started playing guitar very young and it’s simply a part of who I am. It has saved me time and time again. Lastly, I’m very passionate about film and TV – it’s just such a great escape and when you find something that brings out very real emotions in you, it’s incredible.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

WILDsound has been kind enough to feature two of my poems so far. They were the first to publish me in the online format, and as much as I love poetry, I love writing stories just as much.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Find inspiration in the little things, the every day things. Pay attention. Don’t force it.

*****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

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Winning Short Story: Held Up by Bree Katz

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Held Up by Bree Katz

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Bree Katz:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

“Held Up” is about a woman who realizes how unaffected she’d be at the news of her boyfriend’s death.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This story is primarily a work of nonfiction.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Happy breakup!

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen the original – nay, the ONLY – Star Wars trilogy. It’s a good thing DVDs were invented when I was still a child, because I was drastically testing the limits of my mom’s VHS tapes. (Cue contractually obligated grumbling about “kids these days and their consarned streaming services; now get off mah lawn!”)

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular version of the story in about two hours shortly before the submission deadline, as I have apparently learned nothing since my undergraduate days. I have, however, needed to make some kind of creative hay out of a night that proved to be a catalyst in dumping my now ex-boyfriend ever since it took place three and a half years ago.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

There are many contenders, but I compulsively re-read Pale Fire every few months or so and feel newly humbled by Nabokov’s facility for wordplay and characterization every time.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Making this story public was somehow less embarrassing than talking to a therapist about relationship issues that obviously linger three and a half years after I ended the relationship.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Larry David. There would be something comforting in having dinner with a guy who seems to understand flesh-burning levels of awkward the way I do.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an avid skier and hiker who has bagged twelve 14,000-foot mountains and has several more on my list. I’m also into photography – how else am I going to prove I actually climbed those fourteeners?

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was between “big” projects. My life was in too much upheaval to get a proper start on the novel I’d outlined. Creative stagnation is no good, either, though, so when I got the email notification about the contest, it was just the inspiration I needed to crank my gears.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t worry about how much your first draft is going to suck. Just get the words out there. Editing is a special hell all its own, but once you reach that stage, you’re partway through. If you obsess over making the story perfect before you even sit down to write it, you’ll never get started.

Winning Short Story: MR “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

MR  “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR  “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald – http://www.LauraAnneEwald.com

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Laura Anne Ewald

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

While on the surface “Mr. Naughty Becomes Mr. Nice” is about a kid in school—who appears to be the protagonist—the last paragraph really makes this Mr. Laughty’s story, doesn’t it? So it’s really about a teacher who acts uptight and strict all the time, but we learn he has a very soft spot inside.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This started as a children’s story about a “book nerd” kid—based on an experience I once had back in seventh grade when, yes, I made the mistake of reading Lad: A Dog on a Friday afternoon during reading hour in Mr. Swanson’s Social Studies class. The story is looking more and more like a romance the more I think about it, though. I may leave it in the children’s age group, but I think kids can learn a lot about human nature, nurturing, and love by watching the way grownups behave toward one another.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Never assume…

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

As someone who has over 100 DVDs and VHS tapes, this is a tough one, but I’m betting The Sound of Music is still up there for number of times watched. It’s a classic musical romance, which wraps my two favorite genres up into one satisfying package.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular story in one afternoon almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wrestling with turning it into a book.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Probably Anne McCaffrey’s The Lady. (This is another grownup romance, much of it told through a child’s point of view.) I have a ton of “favorite” books, but I’ve been reading this one at least once a year since it was published back in the late ’80s.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I have always written for grownups, and wanted to try my hand at writing for a young audience.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Sue Coleman, Canadian Artist and Author. She does absolutely stunning watercolor paintings, which she calls “Interpretive” Northwest Coast First Nations images, which juxtapose Northwest Coast Native formline designs with natural painting. I’ve collected several prints of her work over the years, and they hang in my dining room. I’m now living in the Deep South, but looking at Ms. Coleman’s work can take me back to the cool, soggy green of the Pacific Northwest, where I lived for thirty years.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Puppets and Puppet Theater! I love puppetry and the story-telling that can be done with the art.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was very much interested in hearing my work read. I’ve done a lot of work in theater—both real-life and puppetry—and I know how terrific it feels to hear someone else interpretively read what I have written.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never stop writing, and never let anyone tell you it’s just a hobby. If you’re a writer—published or not—it’s in your heart and soul. Don’t let anyone diminish the adventure or the pleasure you experience putting your imagination into the written word.

Winning Short Story: MY ROAMEO, WHERE ART THOU MY ROAMEO by Michelle Assor

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

MY ROAMEO, WHERE ART THOU MY ROAMEO by Michelle Assor

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Michelle Assor:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

My story is about a woman in the midst of a marriage crisis and a pending divorce. While walking her dog one morning, she receives an eerie phone call from a family member who reluctantly discloses that her husband is dead.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Drama/Tragedy

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Senseless tragedy

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Nightmare before Christmas – Forrest Gump – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

5. How long have you been working on this story?

Approximately two to three hours.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Jungle Book – Passage to India – A Tale of Two Cities.
Many many favorites. Love the classics.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Writer’s real life experience.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

In lieu of the tragic subject matter of my short story, I would like to have dinner with ‘Prince’. I know he has passed away but I believe our souls move on to other realms. We are essentially eternal and I would love to meet him, in whatever form he appears. I admire his creativity, his originality; his eclectic mix of music fused into ‘his own thing’. I think he was a fascinating individual and I would love to learn about his darkest secrets, his visions and his views on life.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about the state of the world we live in. It is troubling in all respects, economically, politically and socially. I am passionate about education and the future of our children. I think the ever increasing rate of global illiteracy is worrisome. Being literate enables us to work things out in a practical manner without resorting to violence as the only alternative. As far as technology is concerned, I endorse it but at the same time, because of it, we will evolve into different human beings, more robotic in our thinking, without the capacity to use our imaginations to their full human extent. Very sad.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

My passion is writing, no matter what form or length. I am a published author of a YA fantasy novel and am busy writing the sequel. This short story entry was encouraged by a real life event and it will probably prompt me to write a novel about this tragic incident in the future. I want to try all genres, all forms of writing.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Writing is a passion, not a past time. If there is nothing else you would rather do, then writing is the right choice for you. If you want to succeed, be tough, be think skinned. It is a challenging, saturated industry, like much else. However, if this is where you believe you belong, your talent will reach an audience, no matter how long it takes. Believe in yourself.

Winning Short Story: TEARS FOR MY BABY SISTER by Jody T. Morse

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

TEARS FOR MY BABY SISTER by Jody T. Morse

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Jody T. Morse:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

When in our twenties, my sister and I led very different lives. For instance, while I resided in Germany and toured Europe with a dance company, she happened to be a resident of the Kentucky State Penitentiary – for running a crystal meth lab. This story is of the first time I visited her in prison – how I felt and who we both were in that moment. This piece is about the triumph of sisterly love.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Creative non-fiction or lyrical essay or flash non-fiction (does that even exist?). I guess it’s somewhat genre fluid.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Heart-wrenching, raw

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Eat, Pray, Love – it’s my “go to” movie. When I’m sad, EPL. When I’m experiencing a life-time triumph, EPL. When I’m procrastinating on a writing deadline, EPL. Yep, it’s my go to.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

Since that day at the penitentiary, more or less. Almost fifteen years ago. My heart has held the emotions captured in this retelling since then but the first time words hit paper was about six months ago. After chatting with my sister on the phone about the experience, the words were purged onto paper.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My all-time favorite story is Angel Unaware by Dale Evans Rogers. However, seeing as its length doesn’t qualify as a novel, I’d have to say By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept by Paulo Coelho. Such an amazing piece of literature.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Catharsis. And as a way to kick off the writing of a novel-length memoir with my sister. Hopefully, completed and ready for publishing later this year.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

My initial gut reaction – Morgan Freeman. However, if you are asking specifically about visual artists (not performance artists) then I would say Annie Leibovitz. Photography is my favorite genre of the visual arts. Actually, Annie and Morgan together would be optimal and to die for.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Farmsteading in the forest! Yep, you read correctly. Last year, my husband and I purchased 18 acres in the heart of the Sam Houston National Forest, just North of Houston, TX. Having grown up in Kentucky, rural life wasn’t foreign to me; however, this has been a big change from world-traveling and living in the suburbs. We rescue horses, are coming closer and closer to self-sustainability/reducing our carbon footprint every day and have become the care-takers of almost 14 acres of raw forest, a no-hunting sanctuary for the wild flora and fauna.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

After reading Tears For Baby Sister for an open mic event sponsored by Writespace, a local writers community that I’m heavily involved in, I desired to see Tears come to life…from the outside. I live inside the story and hear the words from inside. Seeing someone else inhabit that world, that moment, living the experience will be very powerful for me.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Find your writing family. Find the people who not only support your passion for writing unconditionally but also critique your work with loving honesty. We all need a guru posse – especially writers!

Winning Short Story: LOST LOVE by Catherine Hammer

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

LOST LOVE by Catherine Hammer

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Catherine Hammer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

My 1 page story is about life lessons whether they teach us, or someone else learns from our mistakes.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

My 1 page story genre is a drama.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Never procrastinate.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The movie I have seen most is The Wizard of Oz. That may seem odd to some, but I am obsessed with that movie and have been since I was a little girl. It was the start of change in movies. It was not only immensely visually stimulating for its time, but it has a lesson that will never expire.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

To tell the truth, this story came from mind to paper in half an hour.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I have no favorite novels, or books in general. To me all books are amazing. Some may not be your own type, but they are someone else’s. I can find good in almost anything I read. One thing about books is I love the smell, the feel and the feeling of turning pages to get to the end. I will never be a book nook person.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I am big into life lessons and my goal is to write on my own experiences in life, which have been many, or something that tugs at my heart. Whatever proceeds I would make from writing I would donate heavily to a charity that coincides with the story told.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

L Frank Baum.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Charity, giving back and hopefully one day if I do well enough, philanthropy.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

It’s my start into what I love to do.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

The only thing I would say is when you think of something, write it down immediately before you forget it. I have spent hours upon hours on my iphone at night, in bed. As an insomniac a lot of my stuff comes while I am trying to fall asleep and my mind is just wandering around. I don’t want to forget something by the next morning. Even things you think might be stupid, if it came to you then write it down. In the morning you may not like it, or love it, or find it is perfect by just adding, or subtracting, or changing words around.