#ShortStoryMonth Day Seventeen — “Basketball Fever,” by Maureen Brady


And the Winner Is…

One of my favourite things to come out of the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival is the yearly fiction competition anthology. Born from the Short Fiction contest, the New Fiction from the Festival anthologies run the range of LGBT characters and cross all manner of genres with the loose theme of “saint” and/or “sinner,” and the result is a collection as varied and as interesting as the festival itself.

I nab the collection every year, and always find some new authors to watch out for, as well as some favourites by authors I already know, and since the contest is judged by a different author every year, the tone of the collections shifts yearly, too.

One example, the 2015 winner, was Maureen Brady’s “Basketball Fever.” These are characters we rarely see, and a love story that isn’t often told. There’s a tendency in romantic stories to focus on the thirty-ish crowd (and younger) and it was so refreshing to see characters older than thirty (or, in this case, older than forty, fifty, and sixty) still being the vibrant individuals they are. I adored it, even as I worried over the current circumstances they were facing.

Other prizes I watch out for are any anthologies that win the Lambda Literary Awards (Transcendent 2, for example); and when announced, the various qualifying stories for the Prix Aurora Awards, because I try to read as many as I can before I lock in my votes for nominations for the award.

What about you? Got any awards you watch out for when it comes to short fiction?

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