And The Fiction Contest Winner is…
Kent Wascom’s “Extra Credit History: The Civil War by Juju Fandal” takes the top prize in our 2012 Fiction Contest.
“This story hits the ground running, with an assignment given by a teacher who some of the boys in the class think is “pretty except for her face” — What would the narrator do if he were in the Civil War? What follows is truly funny and surprising, a fantasy infused with logic and dark humor. The energy of the narrative serves the subject, and the result is a headlong take on history that is personal, singular, and — again — FUNNY.”
A native of New Orleans, Kent currently resides in Tallahassee, FL. In 2011, received his MFA from Florida State University, where he devoted his time to working on a novel. We asked him about the story’s spark. “Our appropriations and misconceptions of history, the very act of trying to conceive these events within the context of our own times, reveals both the ugliness and beauty in our character,” Kent said. “It seems to me that the struggle to come to terms with history, whether national or familial, is worth exploring. ”Extra Credit History” was an attempt to intertwine these ideas.”
“Extra Credit” is the first and only short story Kent has submitted for consideration to a contest or literary journal. “If only, my 18-year-old self, staying up all night in the LSU library discovering “Reasons To Live” and “At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom,” could hear that one day Amy Hempel would even read something he’d written, much less find it meritable…It means the world.”
As winner, Kent will read his story at a panel alongside Amy Hempel, the winner of our Poetry Contest, Christopher Hannan, and Poetry Contest judge and Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane on Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. at the Hotel Monteleone’s Queen Anne Ballroom. Come hear him read with a panel pass ($30-$75) or a single event ticket (only available on site) for $10.
Kent’s grand prize includes $1,500, travel, and accommodation during the Festival, an All-Access VIP Festival Pass, and publication of his winning story in Louisiana Literature.
We’ll be taking entries for our 2013 Fiction Contest from June 1, 2012 so all aspiring scribes out there, p0lish up your manuscripts now!