Winning Short Story: AFTERNOON CABARET by Grey Hall

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch AFTERNOON CABARET:

Get to know writer Grey Hall: 

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Grey Hall: It is about meeting Andrea Marcovicci in NYC as part of my research on a book about Carolina Ballet.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

GH: Memoir

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

GH: New Friendship

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

GH: The Graduate, Casablanca (tie)

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

GH: I started it in 2003. It stayed dormant for years, only to resurface now.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

GH: The Great Gatsby

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

GH: My experiences with Andrea Marcovicci at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC. The New Yorker liked it for Talk of the Town, held it for 90 days and eventually decided not to publish.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

GH: Renee Marino (Jersey Boys)

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

GH: Reading, travel, fine dining

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

GH: I was searching for new avenues of expression.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

GH: The publishing world keeps changing. Look for new venues and never give up.

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Winning Short Story: THE END by Lionel Walfish

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch THE END:

Get to know writer Lionel Walfish:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Lionel Walfish: The trials and tribulations of a Broadway actor.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

LW: Fiction

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

LW: Pure Fiction

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

LW: Alfred Hitchcock’s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

LW: Two days .

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

LW: YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN (Thomas Wolfe)

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

LW: I love writing stories about Broadway and the theatre

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

LW: REMBRANDT (if he were alive)

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

LW: Theatre and classical music

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

LW: I enjoy participating in writing contests.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

LW: Always carry a paper pad and pen with you. You never know when a idea comes (and goes..)

Winning Short Story: The Dad Sweater by Joshua Collins

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch THE DAD SWEATER:

Story performed by actor Sean Kaufman

Get to know writer Joshua Collins:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Joshua Collins: In a short synopsis: its about realizing one’s self worth based on ‘social-titles’, in a culture where self worth is measured by ‘what you’ve done’. Nothing worse than getting older and feeling like you’ve wasted your entire life on bad ideas and failed attempts at even mediocre success. Our culture’s unintended pressure of being ‘somebody’. And being a ‘somebody’ for someone else.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

JC: Mostly comedy. But more like ‘dramedy’.

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

JC: Life Crisis

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

JC: At the moment, because I’ve seen too many to remember, I’d say THREE COLORS TRILOGY: BLUE by Kieslowski.

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

JC: Not too long, but the subject matter I’ve been tackling for some time.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

JC: No, like film, there’s too many. But I’d pick INFINITE JEST for the top spot followed by THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

JC: My own crisis. Pieces of me (self-loathingly so).

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

JC: Jeez… uh, can I have a ‘dinner party’ ??? David Foster Wallace, Keith Haring, Banksy, Jean Baptiste Basquiat Salinger, and let’s throw Hunter S. Thompson in there too. Thom Yorke would provide the musical ambience accompanied with Zbigniew Preisner. With stand up comedy provided by Doug Stanhope. But it would be BYOB and over with by 10 p.m. on the dot. I like sleep.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

JC: Directing film.

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

JC: Who doesn’t want to hear their work read aloud??? It’s priceless and motivating as it is rewarding.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

JC: I’m no place to give advice but a writer I love once said something like, ‘write and keep writing until it doesn’t suck.’ . That changed my life.

Winning Short Story: Spookies by Alan Hostetter

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch SPOOKIES:

Story performed by actor Sean Kaufman

Get to know actor Alan Hostetter:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Alan Hostetter: “Spookies” is about a personal anecdote that happened to me early in my career as a motion pictures gaffer.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

AH: It is part horror, part human interest, part coming-of-age, part adventure, part romance, part tragedy.

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

AH: In two words, it’s a true story.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

AH: The movie I’ve seen most in my life is “Taxi Driver.”

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

AH: I’ve been thinking about this story for over thirty years.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

AH: My favorite novel is “Slaughterhouse Five.”

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

AH: I was challenged to tell the story within the parameters of your contest.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

AH: I’d love to have dinner with Charlize Theron, a longtime crush.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

AH: I’m passionate about movies, watching them and working on them.

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

AH: It served my story.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

AH: I would tell young writers to think about what they know and to write something that forces them to learn something new relating to that experience in order to share who they are with future generations. That is the enviable legacy we all aspire to, whether we know it or not. We aspire to make our mark.

Winning Short Story: Lorna’s Island by Louise Johnson

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch LORNA’S ISLAND:

Get to know writer Louise Johnson:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Louise Johnson: A father travels to a tiny Greek island to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death. But he’s obstructed by shifty cops and insular locals.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

LJ: Psychological thriller, maybe, or murder mystery.

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

LJ: Greek tragedy.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

LJ: I’ve seen The Man Who Fell to Earth three or four times and right now I would very much like to see it again.

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

LJ: It’s part of a longer story I wrote a year or so back. The ending still needs some work.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

LJ: Possibly The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I love the rich world she creates and her seductive yet flawed characters. I wish there were more of her novels!

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

LJ: This little island used to almost be my second home. It’s an idyllic spot but there was a dark side – some years ago a fisherman came across a yacht drifting out at sea. There was a dead body on board…

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

LJ: Van Gogh. He’s my favourite artist and he also wrote beautiful letters to his brother, Theo.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

LJ: Movies! I would probably live in a cinema if I could.

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

LJ: I’m trying to write screenplays so the idea of having my work performed by an actor was really attractive.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

LJ: I reckon it’s good to have a bit of ego – but not too much! Have a support group of writers and listen to their feedback, especially if they are all picking up on the same flaw in your work.

Winning Short Story: Together and Separate by Herb Schultz

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch TOGETHER AND SEPARATE:

Story performed by actor Sean Kaufman

Get to know writer Herb Schultz:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Siamese twins resigned to lifelong existence in each others company unexpectedly separate after a car accident.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

Black comedy, Noirish dramedy

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

Siamese Untwinned

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Casablanca

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

Published a novel called “Ronnie and Lennie” in 2009 from which this story was derived.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Lolita

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

Long-time fascination with the trials of living tethered permanently to another person.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Caravaggio

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Movies, music, driving fast

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

Seemed like a cool challenge to winnow down a story to an elemental level

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Be wary of who you let read your rough drafts