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First Place ($50): 
“The Pendulum” by Sabrina Guo, 12

Second Place ($25):
“The Sycamore Tree” by Mira Johnson, 8

Third Place ($10): 
“A Dinner Party” by Anyi Sharma, 10

Fourth Place ($5):
“The Hummingbird” by Clare McDermott, 12

Honorable Mentions:
"Symbiotic" by Madeline Pass, 13
"Potato Diaries" by Christian Goh, 10
"The Mystical Trees" by Hannah Lee, 10

A cat literally watching time pass. A magical tree that heals and protects an injured bunny being chased by a dog. A mysterious hermit who throws a lavish dinner party. A hummingbird whose light, joyful presence delights the whole forest.

These are descriptions of the stories that won our short short fiction contest—and a very small sample of the range of stories we received. We were amazed, reading these submissions, at how much can fit into 300 words. Some entries chose to focus on describing a moment or scene in sparkling, clear prose. Others chose to tell an action-packed narrative. Both types worked, and both felt much longer than the word limit. Short short fiction, or flash fiction as it is also called, reminded us of a clown car: each story managed to pack in so much more than I thought possible.

We want to directly thank everyone who had the inspiration to write a story and the courage to submit it to our contest. Your excellent, imaginative writing made our choices very difficult. We encourage all of you to continue writing and to submit your work to us again soon. Flash fiction is an excellent genre to work in, especially if you are new to writing fiction. Repetition is the mother of learning—and the shorter the story you are writing, the easier it will be to keep repeating and keep learning.

Congratulations to all of you, and especially to our winners and honourable mentions. Look out for publication of some of their stories on the website and in Stone Soup soon!

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