At Short Fiction Break, we believe there are two groups of stars in every writing contest. The first group is obvious: all the writers who enter their stories, who bravely offer their writing for critique, judging, and publication.
The second group is less obvious, but equally important: the contest judges, working hard behind the scenes to read every story and select a handful of the very best.
Meet the Judges
In the last few weeks, we’ve celebrated the prizewinning stories and authors of the Summer Writing Contest. Now, it’s time to celebrate the judges who made this contest possible.
Editor Abigail Perry
Abigail K. Perry is a Story Grid certified editor with a sharp eye for a great story. She received a B.S. in TV, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University (Newhouse) and a Master’s in Secondary Education from Endicott College before receiving her Story Grid editor certification.
Abigail is an expert in storytelling in a variety of forms, from short stories and novels to scripts and film. She taught high school creative writing and film courses for several years, as well as working at P.S. Literary Agency.
Now, she teaches writers at her local bookstore, her DIY MFA column, and her podcast, Story Effect. And of course, she shares her best storytelling wisdom with writers through her editorial services.
Edit With Abigail
Abigail is happy to work with new editorial clients, and if you’re working on a short story, novel, or script, she’d love to help you write something amazing.
Abigail is offering editorial services to our community through The Write Practice. She has a range of services for stories of all lengths.
If you’re working on a novel, nonfiction book, or script, consider hiring her for a Story Grid Diagnostic.
If you’re working on a shorter piece of writing, find the editing package that’s right for you here.
Author M MacKinnon
When M MacKinnon was eight, she wrote a story called “Princess Zelda,” which was a plagiarized mixture of Moses and Cinderella, and begged her mother for weeks to take it to the local library and get them to publish it. Her gentle refusal to do so, while setting M MacKinnon’s career as an author back a few years, did not stop her from continuing her writing.
M MacKinnon worked for several years as a middle school English teacher before returning to her love of storytelling.
Now, M MacKinnon is the author of three novels that combine paranormal romance, modern mystery, and humor. She loves to write emotions: love, hate, fear, redemption, second chances. She lives in New Jersey and spends one month each year in the Scottish Highlands, her happy place and source of her inspiration.
Read M MacKinnon’s Books
Fleeing from a broken heart, Aubrey Cumming finds herself in the Highlands of Scotland, home of her ancestors. There she finds an ancient curse, a modern conspiracy, and a new chance at love.
But can the ghost who haunts her family’s castle ruin help her to right a wrong that has stalked them down the centuries? And will she find the one who holds the answer to her heart’s desire … before evil claims her as the next victim of the Comyn’s curse?
Get The Comyn’s Curse, the first book in the Highland Spirits series, here.
And be sure to check out M MacKinnon’s writing on her website, where you can download a free short story.
The Judges’ Expert Advice
In each contest, we offer writers the opportunity to hear directly from the judges why their story was or was not selected as a winner and what they can do to take their story-writing skills to the next level.
Together, M MacKinnon and Abigail wrote personalized, expert feedback for nearly two hundred writers in our Summer Writing Contest.
Writers who’ve entered our contests before might notice something a little different about the feedback this summer. Rather than receiving shorter feedback from two judges, you’ll receive longer feedback from one judge.
M MacKinnon and Abigail have a wealth of story wisdom to share. In making this change, we’ve given them more time and space with each story they critique. You’ll find the feedback in this contest is longer, more thorough, and more specific.
Didn’t sign up for feedback on your story? There are a handful of common challenges many stories in this contest faced. Check out this article on The Write Practice for the most common weaknesses judges find in contests and how to fix them.
Of course, no contest is complete without the writers who enter and the stories that win! We’re excited to celebrate the eight stories judges selected as the winners of this contest.
Dark Time by Demi LeJeune
Honorable Mentions (alphabetized by author):
Crowds of Light by Ryan Freeman
Behind Her Mask by Sharon Hetherington
Freedom by Jordy Hines
Eleven Birthdays by Erica Roberts
Should Have Waited by Carole Wolfe
Each one was featured on Short Fiction Break this month. Don’t miss out on these wonderful reads!
Want more like this? You can find the stories the judges shortlisted, as well as all the stories published in this contest, here.
More Stories to Come
We had so much fun in this writing contest, and we hope you did, too. Keep your eye out for our next contest, full of more exciting themes, supportive writing community, publication opportunities, and expert judging.
Until then, happy writing!