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Tiny Stories Contest Winners Announced

More than 130 GVPL patrons found amazing ways to tell a story in just 420 characters in GVPL’s 2018 Tiny Stories contest. On December 4, we celebrated the creativity of our contest participants at a reception at the Central Branch. A highlight of the evening was hearing several participants read their stories to an overflow crowd. To cap off the reception, we awarded gift certificates to Munro’s Books for the winning entries. GVPL’s next writing contest is the Teen Writing Contest; submissions will be accepted from January 2 to February 27. More information is coming soon.

Congratulations to all our participants in the Tiny Stories Contest! We hope you’ll keep writing and honing your craft.

Enjoy some of the 2018 prize-winning stories below.

Adult Category

First Place

Failure by Laurie Best

Roger Silbey resolutely stepped off the platform exactly one minute before an internal malfunction slowed the incoming train to such a degree that it merely knocked him off balance and stopped. He staggered. Then stared at it in disbelief. A dowdy woman in the front window stared back. He watched her expression shift from horror to confusion to mirth. He heard the shouts behind him. He couldn’t bear to turn around.

Second Place (four-way tie)

Last Call by Susan Boutilier

Lilies or carnations? She wants lilies, but she’s cheap.  “Why care about money?” the silence jeers. “You’ll be dead.”  So I won’t care about the lilies, will I?  For god’s sake, why can’t Jim do this?  Her poor Jim, his mind as useless as a broken payphone. A few old songs still reach him: When I’m Calling You is one.  Who’ll go first, she worries for the millionth time.  “Carnations,” she says, “and no reception.”

Second Place (four-way tie)

Hungry by Devon Lucy

The autumn rains have not yet begun and the road is dusty, cracked into long, gaping fissures, open mouths begging for a drop of moisture. I stand completely still, clutching my knife, listening. The trees lean into one another as they look down at me, whispering. No. Trees don’t whisper. They don’t watch. I am the only witness to the man’s last breath, the splutter and flow, hot and crimson, into the hungry earth.

Second Place (four-way tie)

Midlife by Beth Carswell

In the space between faulty parachute and finale was an impossible slowing of everything. Then – oh, just there – the electric smell of ozone, the weightlessness of freefall, and the roaring, rushing cacophony of wind joyfully urging him onward, faster, further. The smell of someone peeling an orange. The warmth of his sleeping son curled against his back. His mother’s voice, calling him to get up, sleepyhead. Hurry.

Second Place (four-way tie)

Overdue by Jo-Anne McBride

Hurtful insults and threats followed him everywhere. Fleeing to Narnia or Middle-Earth, his grip on each book was white knuckled.  As the torment grew, so did his longing. Desperately he read of places with no mocking words or sly tripping, but, finally, he broke. Soon the Missing Person posters had a new face, and the grief counselors left. There was, however, a pile of well-thumbed books no one thought to search.

Teen Category

First Place

Adventurer Monday To Saturday by Brigid Godwin

On Monday she swung a sword under a black flag. Tuesday, she overthrew a government. On Wednesday, she sailed a black sea of dying stars. On Thursday she charged beneath the sea in a submarine, seeking a lost city. Friday, she travelled to the realm of gods. On Saturday, she fought a dragon and rescued the damsel, who needed help finding a book. On Sunday, she dreamed of seeing her princess, as the library was closed.

Second Place

Christmas Wish by Ellaina Coley

I lie awake, sweat crawling through my pyjamas. Bloodshot eyes glued to the tilted ceiling. Anxiety boils in my stomach. My room spins and waves of colour warp like a kaleidoscope. Does every child feel like this on Christmas Eve? If I don’t receive my present by tomorrow I might die. Most children wish for a plastic truck, a new t-shirt, or a puppy. I’m a bit different. I’m wishing for a healthy heart.

Third Place

Bad Date by Priya Campbell

The taste of cheap wine lingered in my mouth as he failed to kiss me goodnight. There was a stirring in my stomach inflicted by a mixture of Thai food and butterflies that feel more like old moths. They’re chewing their way through my stomach and up my throat. His cold stare was fixed on me. The tension seized every moment it could to pause conversation. He never took my coat. So, I never called him back.


Peek-a-boo! Here’s a quote to brighten your day:

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Hermione Granger