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  • Writer's pictureKait

Short Story Contest Win

 Last week was filled with writing wins! First, I finished my edit of LFB, which took me ages (read more about that here). Then yesterday, I was announced the winner of a short story contest I'd submitted to back in April!

Winner announcement banner. Text says, "Winner: The Maiden and the Horned God by KR Holton. Spring 2024, Rogue Writers Short Story Contest."

The contest was hosted by the Rogue Writers community (a writing group I cannot recommend joining enough!), and was judged by a panel of community members. The stories were judged equally on technical craft, reader enjoyability, and implementation of the prompts. 

The Prompts Include at least two (2) of the following prompts in your short story (you will later identify your choices in your submission form): Visual Prompt : Photo of the Crooked Forest, Poland (This may be taken as-is or as a typical forest, a single tree, or something else that is unusually crooked or bent. It may appear as a painting or tattoo.) First Line Text Prompt : “Five minutes ago, the trees looked normal.” (You may interpret this broadly. Do the trees actually look different? Or do they merely appear changed after an event cast them in new light?) Trope Prompt : Genius Loci – meaning “a sentient location” (A sentient location may be any location. For instance, may be abstract and appear in a dream, or be represented in a song or legend.) Visual Prompt Photo of the Crooked Forest, Poland

I submitted a story called The Maiden and the Horned God, which was an exploration of the relationship between the archetypal male and female Wiccan/neopagan deities, and the turning of the seasons. Some traditions hold that each year, the Horned God dies (or is sacrificed) in the fall and is reborn new each spring. The story is told from his perspective.

The story was also an exploration of my personal relationship with these binary male/female archetypes. As someone who was AFAB but has never felt remotely "feminine," I have always felt somewhat at war with my own body--a body that continues on with its natural biological cycles, regardless of the societal implications of "femininity" that I don't identify with. This story is about the feminine being in control, regardless of what feels "natural" to the POV character. 

The feedback I received was incredibly positive. I was proud of the piece after I wrote it, but I didn't realize other people might connect with the story as well. I'd been holding this story in my pocket, figuring I'd toss it up on my blog for June's Flash Fiction First Friday. But after hearing so many kind words and encouragement, I've been kicked in the pants to submit the story to journals and zines. 

So, unfortunately, I don't have the story to share with you here, but I'll announce if it gets accepted anywhere! 

Thank you again to Rogue Writers for hosting the contest, to the judges for their time, to the community for their kind words. Thank you for encouraging writers of all types and experience levels, and for fostering a creative, welcoming space for us. 


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