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Victory Celebrations! (And You’re All Invited)

It’s been a little while since our last post, but what better way to get back into the flow than with the announcement that we’re having a party!

Well, participating in one while someone else throws the party, but that shouldn’t stop us (or you) from having a good time.

It’s been a long road pulling together the inaugural year of the Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest, and laying the foundations for the next. So to celebrate the truly exceptional results and turnout of the contest’s first outing we’re going to fete the winners and finalists from the 2011-2012 year. Specifically, Sarah Ennals, James Bambury, Suzanne Church, Claire Humphrey, and Kari Maaren are all going to be reading from their contest stories at the July 11th edition of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series here in Toronto. Sandra Kasturi, one of our 2011-2012 contest judges and the co-publisher of ChiZine Publications, who also co-organizes the CRS, has put together a Facebook events page with full details here:

Several of the judges will be in attendance – possibly all of us if schedulin allows, and Mike Bryant is also slated to put in an appearance, so the evening should be a blast.

If you’re local or feel like coming in to Toronto (or are already going to be in the city on the 11th), you’re cordially invited to drop by and spend an evening in some thoroughly awesome company.

Also, by the time the 11th rolls around, the Chiaroscuro Reading Series will be the only place you’ll be able to read (or, in this case, listen to) Sarah Ennals’ winning story “The Emmet” since the story will no longer be available on the website after July 4th.

Yes, it’s true, all of the the 2011-2012 winning stories are coming off the website EoD July4th (approximately Midnight, UTC -05:00, July 4th). So if you haven’t already read them, now is the time to do so.

We look forward to seeing all of you who can make it out for the celebrations!


Our Judges Panel Embraces the Odd, the Unusual, and the Deliciously Dark

The Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest are delighted to announce our fifth confirmed final panel judge for the 2011-2012 contest year:

Sandra Kasturi

For those of you who are not familiar with Sandra’s work – assuming you’ve been living under several tons of rock – Sandra and her husband Brett Alexander Savory run ChiZine Publications (which they so aptly describe as a “publisher of weird, surreal, subtle, and disturbing dark literary fiction”) and Chiaroscuro: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words. Sandra is known for her pitch dark, lyrical, and highly resonant poetry as well as her exquisitely beautiful short fiction, which is as much prose as her more traditionally poetic work.

Sandra has won numerous prizes, is the long time poetry editor of Chiaroscuro Magazine, has been an anthologist, has consistently produced work that refuses to be classified – working in both Spec and Lit Fic with extraordinary ease – and is a founding member of the Algonquin Square Table poetry workshop. Oh, and she runs her own poetry imprint too: Kelp Queen Press.

And on top of all that she’s one of the nicest people we know. Proving, once again, the delightful adage that horror writers really are some of the most pleasant people you’ll ever meet.

We’ll have a full Bio up for Sandra on our Judges page in the near future.

And with that our 2011-2012 contest year has a full roster of empaneled judges. In a few hours time the 2011-2012 Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest will officially open, and you can begin submitting your stories. If you’re not already following the Contest Blog (through the “Subscribe” widget to your right) or via Twitter (@fomcontest) you can do so at any time to make sure you get up to the minute updates on the Contest, and keep abreast of additions or alterations as they occur.