Tiny story contest winners

Mary Baxter's picture
Mary Baxter is editor of Morelmag.ca and a contributing editor of Better Farming magazine, the largest circulating farm magazine in Ontario and Canada’s top website for online farm news. In 2007, she, along with her former Better Farming colleagues won the Canadian Association of Journalists' Award for Investigative Journalism in the magazine category. In 2012, she also won the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists’ Star Prize for print journalism. Mary is based in London, ON.




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In January, inspired by an urban myth about Ernest Hemingway, London novelist and Morel fiction editor Paul Cavanagh invited area writers and readers to create a tiny story and share it with him.

According to the myth, as related in an article on the website of Dangerous Minds, one day at lunch, Hemingway bet his fellow writers $10 that he could write a short story in just six words. Skeptical, and unwilling to pass up an opportunity to make what was some serious cash in the 1920s, the other writers threw in their money. Hemingway took to his napkin and moments later produced: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Then he scooped up his winnings.
When launching his challenge, Paul Cavanagh gave his writers a little more leeway: 140 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation. He shared his favourites at a recent book signing in London and has agreed to share them with us as well. You can see all of the contributions on his blog.
We thought it was such a fun idea, that we wanted to make a contest out of it. Now the judges have weighed in with our three winners:


First place

Toothbrush for sale. Seldom used. Best offer.

- Cindy Matthews


Second place

Her breath hung ragged in the air between us. Every inhale, a challenge I wondered if she'd duplicate. My vigil 

- Katherine Krige


Third place

He forgot to delete his browser history and log off before he turned off the computer. It was the first thing she noticed when she turned it back on.

– Andrew Glen

Congratulations all!

And thanks very much to our judges Paul Cavenagh and Kate Procter and to all of those who submitted entries.