Thanks everyone who submitted to Quarantine Quanta: A Drabble Contest!
The contest was a great success, with just shy of 300 entries.
Originally, I solicited stories in the categories of realism and slipstream, horror, and science fiction and fantasy. The contest was unthemed, but, as I read through the submissions, it became clear that the pandemic was weighing heavily on people’s minds, because nearly a quarter of all entries addressed the global health crisis in some fashion. As a result, I instituted a fourth, cross-genre category: pandemic.
Here are the four competitive categories and their winners. In each, the authors received (via PayPal): 1st Place: $30; 2nd Place: $25; 3rd Place: $20; and Honorable Mentions: $10. While several authors submitted more than one excellent story, no one received more than one award.
Real and Surreal Quanta
Nonmoving Violations by Graham Robert Scott (1st Place)
First of the Fairies by Alex Woodroe (2nd Place)
Little Shards of Light Dancing Across the Wreckage by Briar Ripley Page (3rd Place)
Candace Swallowed the Sea by Sara L. Uckelman (Honorable Mention)
A Backward Tragedy by Amy Ballard (Honorable Mention)
This Is the Rule by Joe Butler (Honorable Mention)
Sea Fever by Mileva Anastasiadou (1st Place)
Coughing by Ryan Benson (2nd Place)
The Vaccine by Nidheesh Samant (3rd Place)
Curb Your Fear by Yash Seyedbagheri (Honorable Mention)
Shotgun Wedding by Mark Budman (Honorable Mention)
Moppets by Kris Kinsella (Honorable Mention)
Reminiscences by Jim Horlock (1st Place)
The Last Question by Albert N. Katz (2nd Place)
Moving On by Rob Rangel (3rd Place)
Feeding Time by Zena Shapter (Honorable Mention)
Nothing There by Liam Hogan (Honorable Mention)
Checking Off the List by Annie Percik (Honorable Mention)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Quanta
Danny Be Good by Joachim Heijndermans (1st Place)
Love Potions by Tricia Lowther (2nd Place)
123456 by Rich Larson (3rd Place)
Game Loop by A.J. Airaksinen (Honorable Mention)
Oh, Starry Night by C.L. Sidell (Honorable Mention)
That Which Rots Beneath the Shadows of the Wood by Levi Krain (Honorable Mention)
There is a fifth category, Quanta of Levity, which you can think of the editor’s cross-genre selection. I personally love humorous pieces, but they tend to not do well in contests: they tickle our funny bones more than they appeal to our emotions, whereas contest winners are usually deeply affecting pieces. Then I remembered that this was my contest. I could—nay, had to—showcase some comedy and remind us all that this, too, shall pass. There is no hierarchy in this category and each published author was compensated with $15.
Quanta of Levity
The Damsel and the Frog by Edward Lodi
What to Say by Beth Morris Tanner
Nuclear Option by Graham Robert Scott
Keeping Up Appearances by Edward Lodi
Coven Justice by S.E. Casey
Dinner Plans by Colleen Anderson
If you’d like to read all of these wonderful stories in one spot, you can download the eBooks here:
The gorgeous cover artwork is Loneliness by Daniele Serra, who graciously allowed me to use it.