Result - Short Story Contest 2020-21
And once again we are super excited to announce the result of the 2nd Twist & Twain International Short Story Contest. We got an overwhelming response for our contest and we thank the panelists for their patience and hard work in going through all the submitted stories. For a small magazine with no outside funding and quietly operating from a remote and hilly corner of the world, this is by far our most successful contest because we got as many as 164 stories from 101 writers from all around the world.
The 1st prize goes to Raluca Comonelea for her story A Glass of Fresh, Clean Water from Lake Baikal. It is a sad, heart-rending tale of a remote, reindeer-herding people in Siberia, near Lake Baikal, who had a pure life in the wilds until the coming of alcohol. The last scene, where a drunken mother takes one last drink of pure lake water and lies down in the snow to die, is unforgettable. Especially when her young son lies down beside her. It is outstandingly original in both voice and story, with a lasting impact after reading. The story was both darkly funny and moving. Very clever. Right from the beginning, this story had dynamism and flair that captured the interest of the panelists. They admired how the writer was able to do so much in such few words, painting a picture of a way of life and the ways that external, negative influences can undermine generations of tradition.
The 2nd prize goes to Vartika Sharma Lekhak for her story The Girl with Sealed Vagina. It is one of the most unique and original stories the panelists have ever read, and yet quite timely in this era of women’s rights activism. Rapists kidnap a strange young girl; discover she has no vagina and burns their penises like fire. She rapidly becomes a symbol of female power and freedom, revered by all women. India prospers with female power, yet the bigwig males grow resentful and try to cut the girl open. Then the earth opens up in a vaginal apocalypse of revenge against the subjugation of women. Indeed, this story is a close second. The panelists loved the way the premise challenged toxic masculinity through an absurdist lens. Women can often be reduced to their reproductive organs. The story engaged with the theme in a wholly dynamic way.
And finally, Mohammad Salman walks away with the 3rd prize for his story The Thief’s Funeral. The ultimate message here— that we should not be too quick to judge another person, even someone who is seemingly a thief— is always a pertinent lesson. The panelists loved how the thief’s character swells as the story continues so that her personality and what she represents are heavy with meaning by the end. The humor in it is also not missed.
We thank all of the participants. It was a pleasure discovering new voices.
OUR HONORABLE MENTIONS LIST
In alphabetical order