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Submitted on
January 2, 2013


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Results: The War Story Contest

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:21 PM

First I want to apologize that the results are late. Second, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the people who entered. All of the entries were pertinent and I really encourage everyone to go to the contest folder and look at them. I didn't expect such a response to this contest, or the theme, but you really all outdid yourselves, and I think this little corner of dA is much richer for your very thoughtful contributions.

Now, I have to say, this was an extremely hard contest for me to judge because so many entries were so very good. The results are late because I actually couldn't decide and agonized over it. But, I found myself a nice happy medium and without further ado...

A moment on the road
On a road from Loimola towards Suvilahti, early March 1940...
Something blew up ahead on the dark blue road. Rucksacks no longer felt heavy as their carriers threw themselves into the ditch, crawled behind rocks and trees. Snow fell from the nearby spruces like a white powder. Some were still covering their heads and rifles with their hands, as some lifted their faces from the ground. Men stared at each other's faces with uncertainty.
What should we do? Was the enemy somewhere near? Was someone hit? Did someone else piss his pants?
As the ringing echo of the explosion disappeared into the night, distant gunfire was heard ever clearer now. Dry nagging of machineguns and some rifle shots. The sounds made one or two of the men to feel sick. Either that, or they had managed to puncture their ears.
It was their first day and they hadn't even reached their Company yet. They were fresh. Still in their boyhood. The 2nd Company had been mauled pretty badly. More men were needed.  
"It's just th

Why it won: Absolute realism, in both military structure, behavior, and in war itself. I saw these kids clearly in my mind's eye marching to war. Also, clear wording, no bones made about the war, could have been the set up for a novel.
Best Line:
It was their first day and they hadn't even reached their Company yet. They were fresh. Still in their boyhood. The 2nd Company had been mauled pretty badly. More men were needed.


Why it won: This gets my Above and Beyond award. The attention to every little detail is amazing. It's a full fledged, start to finish story with very good characterization, and the setting is fully realized in every possible way. It is a little dense, but it is so well worth the read, for all the sadness and story it gives you.
Best Line: «He's dead.»
«Ah. Is he?».
I open my eyes to the dark room. They fell on the window. There are lights through and beyond the pane, small globes like fireflies.


Why it won: The writing. Geistlicher's imagery was brilliant and I cannot say that I enjoyed a single second of reading this, which really, is what war fiction is supposed to do: You are never supposed to enjoy reading it. You are supposed to cringe away from it because it's too close to home, because it's so ugly, and we certainly weren't spared that here. Plus it had hands down the best opening line, see below.
Best Line: Lieutenant Charles Meriwether died on some day in August, 1917 in Festubert, France and I couldn't be stuffed to care about it.

And now, unbeknownst to you all, an HONORABLE MENTION.

Why it won: I couldn't let this piece go. I love it too much. It is a story of course about an epic war, but for only having seven lines it captures the main character so very vividly and related back to the contest prompt so well, that I had to place it.
Best Line: you have history's heart: and I won a war.

Congratulations, all. Please contact me to get your prizes.

:bulletred: Also, if you were a prize contributor, specifically those who offered features, please set up a journal and do feature these wonderful pieces! :bulletred:

Stay tuned next week for more contest related news, and thanks again to all who entered.


  • Reading: On Writing - Stephen King
Add a Comment:
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   Writer
:love: <3
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Writer
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013   Writer
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Writer
! :heart:
(And congratulations to the other winners! Definitely going to read everything now. :dummy:)
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Writer
fantastic you! you'll get a prize soon...
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Student Writer
:blush: Aw, you're too kind! :heart:
tuomaskoivurinne Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, this is certainly new to me. And an interesting way to start a new year. Thank you. I'm slightly bedazzled. Mmmm... am I going to get some critique/constructive feedback/help for the writing? As it's not really my area of specialty.
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Writer
Yes, absolutely. I'm going to leave commentary on everyone's stuff, but really as far as I'm concerned... I would need to go back through to look for grammar issues, but normally non native speakers of your level don't have any (as you are taught to speak the language correctly from the get-go). I think that stylistically it works really well as 'minimalism', which lends itself to things like war. And certainly you have some very powerful lines and concepts in here that are evident right below the surface. But I'll leave feedback.

Congrats :love:
Geistlicher Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
whoo congrats to all winners :3!
VFreie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Stack overflow at line: JOY

(Also, the line you quoted made me realise I'd missed a typo there. Derp derp derp. Thanks for that, too.)
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