2004 Erotic Short Story Contest Winners

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As the seconds ticked down towards the deadline of our 2004 Short Story Contest, Alexis Siefert and I knew we had a formidable task ahead of us. First of all, our pre-screener tallied the final count – 137 erotic short stories – we were going to be reading for awhile. And secondly, he teased us by hinting there was some mighty fine smut to be found in the bunch. (He was right!) It wasn’t going to be easy to pick the winners.

Several days, a few cups of coffee, and many disposable towelettes later, Alexis and I had finished reading, and we emerged with our final choices. Finishing the judging of an erotic story contest is like watching the sun rise after fucking all night. You’re a little bleary-eyed, a little tired, but wow is it good! If you ever get the chance to judge a contest yourself, don’t pass it by.

We liked the variety of sex scenes in this contest – red hot sex scenes, poignant sex scenes, nasty sex scenes, abusive sex scenes – more sex scenes than you can shake a phallus at. And most so well-written, it would have been impossible to pick the winners based solely on how tingly they made us. Oh, these winners got us tingly all right, but what distinguishes these ten stories from the other great entries is what surrounds the sucking and fucking. These stories not only stimulated our privates, they stimulated our brains and our emotions.

I was delighted to see a better mix of stories in this contest than in our Postcard Contest. We got vampire sex, transgender sex, man-on-man, woman-on-woman, threesomes of every possible combination, bondage, and even one story featuring women gangbanging another woman. We had stories depicting the sexual acrobatics of a stone pineapple, a couple Elvis impersonators, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. And we got swarms of pirates.

My only disappointment is the lack of lesbian and BDSM erotica that made it onto our winner’s list. There were a couple stories with lesbian and bondage themes that almost cracked the top ten, but in the end, the stories didn’t balance sex and plot as well as the winning stories.

Alexis and I did not know who the authors were at the time we judged the stories. Our pre-screener removed the authors’ names before he handed them off to us. (I like this anonymous way of reading and judging – our opinions can’t be colored by familiarity with an author’s previous work.) In spite of the pre-screening, you will notice a couple of interesting coincidences. Tulsa Brown, who placed third in our Postcard Contest, walked away with the grand prize in the Short Story Contest. And elle`attend and johndear, who are both active in our writer’s workshop, Desdmona’s Fish Tank, tied for third place. Happenstances that left me smiling.

When our pre-screener reveals the authors of all the stories to the judges, it’s an exciting moment, full of surprises. Not just because of recognizable names, but also because of the many new names. Wow! That was – !? And I should have known that was – ! I’m so surprised — sent in a story. And, perhaps the best reaction of all: I’ve never heard of – , but that boy can write!

You might think there are some overlapping themes in the winning stories. In “Baker’s Dozen” and “Our Daily Bread” for example, the titles suggest a cooking similarity. I suggest you read them to see how unalike they are. “Riding Death” and “In Their Shoes” share a bit of a paranormal theme, as well as a touch of humor. And speaking of humor, “Oral Mohel” had me laughing out loud. But each of these three stories are fresh and creative. “Temporary,” “Undine,” and “Just Passing Through” took chances that few are willing to take, but the risk paid off; they are extraordinary. And finally, “Ruby Hears Everything” and “Van Gogh’s Whore Never Saw Georgia O’Keefe’s Flowers” hooked me with their titles and then kept me spellbound until the very last word.

But if there is a common theme among all these stories, it would be that they are fabulous reads!

In the end, I wish every story could win. I recognize the hard work that goes into the writing, and I appreciate the authors who are willing to contribute their work. It’s like an erotic smorgasbord, and I get to go back again and again. So even though we have winners, in my mind, there are no losers.

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in a story, and we’ll see you next time!


First Prize: Temporary, by Tulsa Brown

A poignant look at one night in the life of a drag queen. The author combines sardonic humor and tender reality to make this story sing every bit as beautifully as the lead character. One of the many perfectly phrased lines sums the plot up nicely: “I felt like a wine glass, a toast you drank then smashed in the fireplace.” Human frailty comes in all shapes and sizes and all genders. This was an easy choice for first place.

Second Prize: Riding Death, by John Enex

This is what I loved about this contest. There was an unexpected variety among the top stories – subjects that crossed genres, touched taboos, and handled familiar topics in unexpected ways. Perhaps I should have seen it coming, and in retrospect I’ll tell anyone who asks that I did.

Third Prize (tie):Our Daily Bread, by johndear

A woman makes bread and fears it’s the only thing her husband still loves about her. The story has the earthy, yeasty feel of a woman from bygone years, and yet there’s something universal about her. She has needs and wants as any present-day woman. Lust and duty are blended together perfectly for a Gold Medal recipe, leaving this judge licking her fingers for more.

Third Prize (tie):Baker’s Dozen, by elle`attend

Certain topics don’t seem to belong in an erotic story contest. I don’t want to give anything away, nor do I feel that anyone needs to be warned either towards or away from this story. What I do want to say is that this, almost more than any other piece that I read, fulfills the “story” element of Erotic Story Contest. It’s a painful and difficult subject handled deftly and with a gentle touch. Thank you, Elle, for sharing it with us.

Honorable Mentions

Oral Mohel, by Monica J. O'Rourke

There’s a feeling that defines a good horror story. It’s that bit, that moment, that turn of phrase that tells you something Bad is going to happen. Yes, it’s a good kind of Bad, it’s something dark and evil that we want to read about, but it’s bad nonetheless. The reader waits for it, rushing blindly around the corners in the dark, knowing that there’s something there. If not in this paragraph, maybe the next. Or if not behind that door, maybe behind this painting. Oral Mohel had that feeling, and it had me from the opening paragraph. One of the best things about finishing this contest was discovering this author’s name. After all, I couldn’t search for anything else of hers until I knew it, right?

Van Gogh's Whore Never Saw Georgia O'Keefe's Flowers, by August MacGregor

She models to pay the rent, but paints to live. There’s some wonderful imagery in this story, including a sushi bar like no other. Along with a catchy title, this piece paints a very sexy picture and lets us feel like an insider in the life of an artist. They say artists “feel deeply.” All I know is this reader felt something “deep” when she read this story.

Just Passing Through, by Ann Regentin

Remember the comment about touching taboos and handling common subject matter in uncommon ways? This one was an excellent twist on the drag-queen-surprises-the-pick-up. Perhaps best of all, this story made me wonder – could I, perhaps, pull it off?

Undine, by Richard Terry

Sometimes you read a story and you realize immediately that you’re reading author-as-narrator. Something about the voice, the inflection, the tone. It rings just too true. Written dialogue isn’t like spoken dialogue. When people speak, their conversations are full of absent-minded fillers, pauses, and blank syllables that our ears and minds filter out. You get that uncomfortable author-as-narrator feeling when a writer tries too hard to capture the dialogue. We don’t want to read what was really said; we want to read what we really hear. That’s the hard part with dialogue and tone. It becomes especially difficult when a writer is using a distinctive dialect. Most of the time it doesn’t work. Most of the time it becomes phony and distracting and as a reader we find ourselves wishing that they’d do less telling and a lot more showing. Undine is an exception. There was very little description in this story; it’s more dialogue-heavy than anything else I read in this contest, and it worked. Marvelously.

Ruby Hears Everything, by Tara Alton

A woman is forced to live in a trailer with her cousin. The space is small, and the walls are thin. This is more than just your average voyeur story. The setting is gritty, and the characters are grittier. There’s a shift by story’s end to bring about a real sense of satisfaction. And it’s one very sexy story to boot!

In Their Shoes, by A.L.Means

A very young woman is married to a much older man. This story lets us hear what she’s thinking – sort of the things Anna Nicole might have said about her late husband, if she were smart and funny. The couple visits a hotel that the husband used to frequent with his first wife. There’s an interesting plotline, but the real beauty of this story is the voice of the narrator. She’s funny, irreverent, and outrageously entertaining.

When you’re done here, take a peek at the winners of our other contests.

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