Category Archives: News

News about the site.

2018 Story of the Year Winner

The winner of the 2018 Story of the Year, along with the $50 prize and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, is:

The Summer of Sweet Mary (circa 1972) by Bob Thurber

For the first time, 50WS has a two-time story of the year winner. It’s not surprising that Bob Thurber was the one to do it. His run of work this year was truly exceptional, earning repeated honours despite the increasing volume and quality of submissions we’ve been receiving month after month.

Honourable mentions to The Art of Disappearing by Patrick Mc Loughlin and Dependency by Carrie Backer, two more excellent stories that made it very difficult to choose the winner.

2018 Story of the Year Finalists

I love taking a look back at the amazing work that landed at 50WS throughout the past year. It’s time to deliberate over the winner of the 2018 Story of the Year!

Here are the 12 Story of the Month winners for 2018.

JANUARY: Roommate From Hell by Sarah Krenicki
FEBRUARY: Gospel by Beverly C. Lucey
MARCH: Sidewalks by Arlene Antoinette
APRIL: The Night the News Came by Bob Thurber
MAY: The Art of Disappearing by Patrick Mc Loughlin
JUNE: Dependency by Carrie Backer
JULY: Another Misadventure of the Broken Boys by Bob Thurber
AUGUST: Pizza Night by Maura Yzmore
SEPTEMBER: The Summer of Sweet Mary (circa 1972) by Bob Thurber
OCTOBER: Understanding by Katherine DeGilio
NOVEMBER: Archived News Clipping (Filed Under Irony) by Jo Withers
DECEMBER: The last time I saw my brother by Guy Preston

The winner, as chosen by editor Tim Sevenhuysen, will be announced on Sunday, January 20!

The prize for the Story of the Year winner is:

  • $50 (Canadian)
  • Enshrinement in the 50WS Hall of Fame

Let everyone know your favourite story in the comments!

Throwback: In 2015, Bob Thurber won the Story of the Year award with his piece The Mapmaker’s Calligraphist Daughter. In 2016, Guy Preston took the prize with One Job Away From Retirement. The 2017 winner was Jennifer L. Freed, for Aunt Peg. In 2018, Constellations by Jonathan Kosik won the award.

STORY OF THE MONTH: December 2018

The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.

The finalists for December were:

Bad Like That by Kiah Mott
Everything is fine. You? by TPA
The last time I saw my brother by Guy Preston
Last of the old ones by Taryn Noelle Kloeden
Last Tango by Sudha Balagopal
Season Greetings and Untimely Departures by Bob Thurber

The winner of the December 2018 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…

The last time I saw my brother

Guy Preston is a 50WS Hall of Famer for a reason, and he’s added to his trophy case here.

I confess that I’ve wrestled in the past with my idea of the “appropriate” way to use the title in a 50-word story. In general, I feel that the title should be handled carefully, not exploited to circumvent the word count by adding information that is essential to the story. But now and then, a great 50-word story author does something new and unique with a title. Guy’s winner was one of those. The story stands very well on its own, without the title, and is an entirely worthy entrant in that form. But when the title is layered on top, it adds another dimension that elevates the story.

STORY OF THE MONTH: November 2018

The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.

The finalists for November were:

Closing the Loop by J Bradley
Sabbatical by Khalilah Okeke
Dizzy Spells by Bob Thurber
Archived News Clipping (Filed Under Irony) by Jo Withers
The Good Father by Paul Negri

The winner of the November 2018 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…

Archived News Clipping (Filed Under Irony)

Jo’s story clearly struck a nerve not only with me, but with many 50WS readers. She found a unique way to approach themes of homelessness, war, and social justice. The balance of tragedy and comedy made the irony really hit home, exactly what that literary device is meant to achieve.