Re:Fiction - The Fiction Writers' Magazine

Our December 2019 Writing Contest

Our December 2019 Writing Contest

This contest is now closed to submissions!

The prompt for this contest has been...

Write a story about a person who makes a resolution that changes their entire life--even though they fail to follow through on it. 

Some additional notes:

  • Please keep your story under 1,500 words in length.
We have 2 honorable mentions:
"Two-fisted Love" by Faith Hamblyn

While dark and broody, this piece by Hamblyn was a realistic glimpse at someone else's New Year's Day. She writes it with a raw sort of tone, leaving nothing out as she explores one woman's attempt at making a fresh start. 

"Promise" by Janet Coburn

Coburn doesn't pull any punches with this response to our prompt about resolutions. Written in a conversational tone, this piece explores the subtle, gradual effects of a life spent in all work and little play. 

And the first-place winner is...

Shelby Kisgen with "More Beats Less"

Kisgen's short story gives us all hope: plain and simple. Not only did she stick to the prompt, but she injected humor, personality, and a sense of the relatable in her submission. This was no sappy romance or heavy coming-of-age; this was all about a woman seeking her happiness and finding her way back to herself. In short, the easily digested language and pacing of this story was a breath of fresh air.

Read the winning entry below.



More Beats Less
By Shelby Kisgen

January 1st

Dear Diary,

Last night, as the clock struck midnight, everyone in the packed bar yelled out their resolutions.

“Lose weight and find love!”

Echoes of similar resolutions swirled around mine and I wondered if I should change it to something more original.

Tracy overhead and looked at me with wide eyes, “Megan, I’ve got a guy for you!”

And a guy is what I want so I’m sticking to it.

February 14th

Dear Diary,

Tracy set me up with Michael, but he wasn’t available for over a month. Sketchy? I think so, too. But I haven’t lost weight yet and I hate to admit it but I’m a bit desperate, so tonight, Valentine’s Day, was our first date. No pressure.

He was tall and broad, lean like a swimmer. I could have swum in his blue eyes all night. If he’d ever stopped staring at our waitress that is. Oh well, I’ve still got ten months to find love. And I resisted swimming in the chocolate fountain so there’s some progress on the weight loss side.

May 7th

Dear Diary,

Spring is my favorite season. The tulips are budding so I took a long stroll. It had the potential to tone me up, but it made me hungry and the loop takes me past the cutest bakery. Ah well, maybe being skinny isn’t as great as I think. My legs carried me just fine over five miles so I can’t be too unhealthy.  

July 4th

Dear Diary,

The men at Tracy’s BBQ were so BORING! They didn’t have a wit of humor. All the women bustled around, cooking and cleaning up and not a single dude offered to help. I had more fun daydreaming by myself than talking with any of them.

October 19th

The girls and I bundled up and walked across town to the local theater. Some college kids put on a rendition of the Addams Family and I laughed so hard I tooted! Must have been the popcorn.

November 25th

I ran a Turkey Trot in less than thirty minutes! I’m a goddess! Wonder Woman incarnated! A cheetah with the stamina of sports car!

December 31st

My red party dress hangs on the door, mocking me. It’s the same size I wore last year. And I’m still dateless.

I’m going out with my friends tonight and I’ll dance and laugh and toast wine without any thought of calories.

And my resolution won’t be to lose weight or find love but to keep dancing and watching sunsets. Because really, what more do I need?

Join the Discussion!

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