Fleur 2020-03 - Violet

And the Winners are ....

Judge’s Comments

Congratulations to everyone on the shortlist. You all deserved to be on it, so give yourselves a hearty pat on the back. Every story had its own unique voice and value. Writing during these difficult times can be challenging for some, but all of you stepped up. Thank you for sharing your writing. It was an honor for me to judge such a talented group.
Sherry Torgent

 A Future Without You – by Julie Meier –  WINNER

A Future Without You captures a singular moment of a man sitting in the garden with his dying wife. The story was tragic yet beautiful. The ability of this writer to interweave the beauty of nature and violets with dying and death was extraordinary. Bravo!

Pearls or Violets – by Juma – Finalist Honor

A brilliant use of the prompt. The writer summons visions of a medieval fairytale complete with an earthly choice that led to a life of sorrows, and final redemption found in the violet. Simply magical.

From My Window – by Sandra James – Finalist Honor

Because of the current pandemic, many of us are now looking at life from windows. This story does just that. Hit with unsettling news, and confined to his unit, a man still maintains his humanity by coming to the defense of his neighbor through his window. The story shows the worst and the best of human nature, while offering up kindness and hope at the end. Wonderful.

Violetta’s Day – by Paula Song Sarmonpal – Finalist Honor

This was a tale of a girl’s life in a remote place where she could freely roam the woods. I loved how the writer presented the characters as the child and the woman. It gave the story its sense of place and time. I was charmed, and the ending was perfect.

Spring Breeze and Violets – by Tejal Doshi – Finalist Honor

I’m floored that this writer is a middle schooler. I repeat—floored! The story was enchanting and almost fairytale like. Writing the wind as a character that seeks the sweet violet was a creative use of the prompt, and I found the story utterly charming.

Violets at Longshaw – by Joanna Miller – Finalist Honor

This was a story of a soldier and nurse thrown together by war—a final goodbye. The writer does a great job of transporting the reader to the moors and valleys of Longshaw. Using a violet to say good-bye was breathtaking in its simplicity.

On Violet, Who Isn’t a Flower – by Jessica Novinger – Finalist Honor

I think it was this line that got me – “But what power do I have and who am I but short, fat, black-haired Violet?” Brilliant. The protagonist offers up an honest self-assessment of herself while conjuring mythical and practical uses of the violet. Really clever and raw.

Other Finalists:

The Beginning – by Mary Wallace

The Walk – by Jane Rockwell

Glimmering Guides – by A.J. Scott

Finding Joey – by Juma

Playing with Betsy – by Mary Wallace

Congratulations to all our Public Voting winners!  For the first time in all of our contests, we have a two-way tie and a three-way tie!
 Many congratulations to our first place winner Susan La Serna and to Mary Wallace and Sandra James whose multiple entries created two ties for 2nd and 3rd place!  Wow.
Feel free to continue sharing your stories with friends and family, colleagues and coworkers!  Everyone deserves to start their day with a good story, especially now.

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-03 Violet

the apple tree
deposits blossoms
like secret letters
Our next Fleur contest features a symbol of strength, resilience and beauty – the Apple Tree.  Many of our lives have changed drastically in the past few weeks. More than ever, we need reminders of courage, and a renewed commitment to beauty.  The Apple Tree showers us with blossoms in spring, shades us in summer, feeds us in autumn, survives even the harshest of winters.  We think its symbolism is very fitting for this moment in our lives as writers and as  human beings.
Click on the link below to learn more or to enter the new contest.

Fleur 2020-04 – Apple Tree

Our prompt creator this month is Paula Song Sarmonpal from London, England.  She has introduced us to a new miniature poetic form called “cherita”.   Thank you, Paula! 
We’re happy to have one of our favorite judges return this month.  Dr. Regina Higgins – writer, editor and storyteller – will select the Grand Prize Winner and list of Finalists for this contest. There will also be a public voting segment.

Voting Countdown:

In spite of the unprecedented situation we all suddenly found ourselves in, you writers continued to create beautiful stories!  In these special times, your voice is more important than ever.  A heartfelt thanks to everyone who entered a story this month, and congratulations to all those who made the short list.
We’re delighted to present the shortlisted stories from our “Violet” contest.  We hope you’ll read each one and then tell your friends and family about ZenGarden.club.  We can help spread comfort and hope by sharing these lovely stories with family and friends.
Total entries:  39
Total shortlisted:  23
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