The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest is pleased to announce the winners for Fall 2022. Bob McCrillis of Doylestown won first place for his story, “Hotel Oklahoma.” Megan Monforte, also of Doylestown, was awarded second place for her story, “Strawberry Moon.” Jennifer Fritch of New Hope captured third place for “Come Clean.” Novelist Margarita Montimore, author of Oona Out of Order and Acts of Violet, made the final selection.
A celebration will be held on Nov. 19 at 1:30 PM in room 124 of Tyler Hall on the Newtown campus. During the event, the winners will read from their stories. Montimore will join us as well, to discuss the creative writing process. The event is free and open to the public.
Of “Hotel Oklahoma,” Montimore wrote, “A riveting story full of everyday people found in the center of a tense situation. The sharp dialogue, well-drawn descriptions, and high stakes offer both suspense and heart. Then there’s the fantastic ending, which packs a delightful, surprising punch.” McCrillis has used his retirement to focus on writing. He has published a novel and a short-story collection on Amazon, and has other projects in the works.
The judge lauded “Strawberry Moon” by remarking that the story is “…a beautiful meditation on grief, marriage, family, and mental illness. The vivid details and realistic dialogue make this story resonate with wistfulness and melancholy. This is something that could be expanded into a longer story or a novel.” The story is part of a novel that Monforte is working on. She also took second place in last year’s contest. She often writes about women’s cultural roles as caretakes, and how women’s marriage choices affect their contentment.
Montimore cited “Come Clean” by calling it “…an unexpected narrative with a fresh perspective—literally! Writing a short story about the secret lives of grocery store products, creating characters out of inanimate objects and imbuing them with emotional depth, takes imagination and skill.” Fritch, a dedicated poet and writer of many years, says she was part of the pandemic’s “Great Resignation,” and recently left an executive post in corporate life, in order to focus on her writing. She has taken advanced fiction classes, and is considering pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing.
The contest is open to adults who are residents of Bucks County. The winners will receive honoraria of $200, $100, and $50, respectively. The contest is funded by Bucks County Community College, and receives support from the Department of Language and Literature. Elizabeth Luciano, an associate professor at the College, is the contest administrator. A contest for high-school students will be held next spring.
Learn more at Bucks County Community College.