Fleur 2020-05 - Azalea

And the Winners are ...

Judge's Comments

Special thanks to judge Dr. David A. Ross, who took time off from his busy summer school teaching schedule to read all the Azalea stories, pick his winners and give comments and feedback.  We always appreciate your input, David!

Alone and Waiting – by Juma – WINNER

The winning piece has the virtues of compression and a final line that functions as a fairly devastating turning point, undercutting the sentimentality of the preceding lines with a mortal reduction of everything to brutal bodily fact. Certainly it was the best line of the contest.

Circle of Life – by Clara and Kate – Finalist Honors
This story has the virtue of clean colloquial prose (“My grandma has always loved azaleas but I’ve never known why they are so important to her… until we found ourselves at the hospital saying our final goodbyes”) and convincing dialogue (“Come on guys”). My only quibble is that a word or two might have clarified the slightly ambiguous “booth” that features in grandma and grandpa’s first date.

Red Azalea Dreams – by Juma – Finalist Honors
The contrast between the gardener’s bluff indignation (“You can imagine how I feel about that!”) and his louche dreams of murder (“A slim figure lounges on the couch, ebony hair half-covering her habitual frown”) creates compelling black comedy.

Summer Long Ago – by Sophia Still – Finalist Honors
The awareness of one’s own gradual loss of awareness is perhaps the most psychologically complex and poignant of all human crises (see the depiction of HAL’s demise in 2001: A Space Odyssey). Resisting melodrama and for the most part sentimentality, this story depicts the moment when loss and awareness of loss are in brief and painful equilibrium. This is mature subject matter impressively handled by a young person.

Other Finalists

His Eyes – by Susan Giles

Locked In – by Susan Dawson

Recuperating – by Rebecka Pettersson

The Thinking of Home Bush – by  Taria Karillion

White azaleas in a pot (oil on canvas) – by Susan Dawson

Public Voting Winners

Congratulations to all our Public Voting winners!  All three of these winners are new to our ZenGarden.club – welcome and congratulations!
We hope you will continue to share this month’s stories with friends and family, colleagues and coworkers!  Reading a floral flash fiction story is a great way to start any day.

Learn more about the contest which inspired these stories: 
Fleur 2020-05 Azalea

lavender flowers
reach above the picket fence –
Grandma is watching
NEXT CONTEST STARTING!
Member Sandra James has created a prompt for this month that is very appealing  – the fragrant, lovely lavender, a picket fence and above all, Grandma!  We’re especially grateful for all the bees that are attracted to the scents of late spring and early summer.  We hope you’ll be inspired by the wonderful picture and the prompt.
Click on the link below to learn more or to enter the new contest.
Fleur 2020-06 – Lavender

We’re very happy to welcome back Sherry Torgent as our judge this month.  Sherry is a publishing editor, writer, published author and a delightful judge!  She shared some wonderful insights during our  Violet contest last March.  Her comments are not only helpful for all of us writers, they are also literary gems!  Sherry will select the Grand Prize Winner and the list of Finalists for this contest.   Many thanks, Sherry!

Voting Countdown:

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Congratulations to everyone who entered a story and especially to all those who made the short list.  Welcome to all our new subscribers!  We hope you enjoy your ZenGarden.club experience and continue to share your talent with all our club members.  Your stories can help make a difference in today’s world.
We’re delighted to present the shortlisted stories from our “Azalea” contest.  We hope you’ll read each one and then tell your friends and family about ZenGarden.club.  We can help inspire others by sharing these lovely stories with family and friends.
Total entries:  55
Total shortlisted:  30
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