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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.


1st Prize Winner

Raluca Comanelea


Story: A Glass of Fresh, Clean Water from Lake Baikal

2nd Prize Winner

Vartika Sharma Lekhak

New Delhi, India

Story: The Girl With Sealed VaginaCampa Bai

3rd Prize Winner

Mohammad Salman

Lucknow, India

Story: The Thief’s Funeral, DutyThe Maritime Nuisance Company


Arunabha Ghosh

West Bengal, India

Story: The Wait

Moachiba Jamir

Nagaland, India

Story: A Mourning of Two Villages

Mita Nangia Goswami

Assam, India

Story: The Friend, Aita (Grandmother)

Subi Taba

Arunachal Pradesh, India

Story: The Last Priest

Jesmal Jalal

Kerala, India
Story: CulpritsThe KittenA Normal World

Lohit Datta-Barua


Story: Where is Home

Ms. Lalrinchhani

Mizoram, India

Story: The Farmer’s SonMy Identity, My Pride

Smita Das Jain

Haryana, India

Story: Forbidden LoveThe Perfect Abode


In alphabetical order

Alfredo Salvatore Arcilesi


Stories: Pasture StatuesSomeplace without Washrooms , Plastic Breath , Tangerine Strands , Electric Candle

Aarushi Krishnan


Story: Matryoshka

Dr. Arindam Banerjee

Kolkata, INDIA

Stories: The Orthopaedic Surgeon , The Infertility Specialist , The Paedetrician

Aman Sethi


Story: An Epic-Amandora

Amit Shankar Saha

West Bengal, INDIA

Stories: The Story of Nan-Phu , Monsoon Sonata , From Moscow with Love , Mr. Sen , Who’s Where

Adi Pandey

New Delhi, INDIA

Story: Time’s Ticking

Anita Mandal

Madhya Pradesh, INDIA

Story: A Prostitute can become an author

Ayyagari Srikanth

Tripura, INDIA

Story: The Fighter

Annapurna Sharma

Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Story: Bubble Wrap

Anand Jose

Kerala, INDIA

Story: Your’s Hauntingly

Bhakti Patel


Story: Good Heavens

Balu Swami


Story: Christmas Gift

Bimalangshu Das

West Bengal, INDIA

Story: The Taxi Driver

Cintia Trinity Caracushansky


Stories: The Game of the Mirrored KingdomQuarantiners

Dora Esze


Stories: Soul FreezeA single furtive tear

Dean Gessie


Empire in the Gardens of Babylon

Eklavya Sinha

Haryana, INDIA

Story: The Hare Who Lost

Fatima Zaheer


Story: A White Scone Proposal

Ganeve Rajkotia

New Delhi, INDIA

Story: Anjum

Hiranya Barman

Assam, INDIA

Story: The Bill

I V Prabhakara Menoki


Stories: The VictimThe Target , Bond Par Conditions

Isha Yadav

Telengana, INDIA

Story: The Muddled City of Uriana

Joe Oliver Mae Ryan Lyngdoh

Meghalaya, INDIA

Story: A Letter to the Grave

Joshua Dow


Story: Brothers in arms

Joyce Verendritha

Karnataka, INDIA

Story: The Maleen Mystery

Kalyan Gullapalli

Maharashtra, INDIA

Story: The Creator

Kayleigh Gibbons


Story: Qant

Lisa Munoz


Story: Korina

Lalu Krishnan

Maharashtra, INDIA

Stories: The Birthday gifts , The Lounge , The Agent , The Twenty Year Promise , The Questions of Choice

Luthan Gangmei

New Delhi, INDIA

Story: Queen Mudan

Lukumani Majumdar

Assam, INDIA

Story: Identity

Maggie Mortimer


Story: 1st month’s rent

Manasi Diwakar


Story: The Re(a)d Book

Manisha Prasad


Story: Cloudy with a Chance of Bad Luck

Mandeep Kaur

Rajasthan, INDIA

Story: The Unqualified Professor

Mangesh Shirke

Maharashtra, INDIA

Stories: The Real Hero , Murphy

Nancy Kissam


Story: The Names We Give

Neelakshi Dutta

Assam, INDIA

Story: Love In The Darkness

Namita Das

Maharashtra, INDIA

Story: Happily Technically, Ever After!

Namrata Dass

Karnataka, INDIA

Story: You and Me

Paul Beckman


Stories: Seeing Things , Bam! Squish!

Phyllis Houseman


Story: Don Juan and the Runaway Knight

Priyam Kumar

New Delhi, INDIA

Story: An Awaited Decision

Preetha Vasan

Karnataka, INDIA

Stories: Marie Carrie , What’s in a Name

Dr. Prashanth Peta Ravi

Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Story: The Pain – She Never Suffered

Pradeep Gusain

New Delhi, INDIA

Stories: Entangled Love , The Well-known Stranger

Ria Raut


Stories: What We Could Be , Greater Evils

Ravi Valluri

Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Story: Heartbreak at Coffee Shop

Raheef Aowal

Assam, INDIA

Story: Red

Rajagopal Kaimal

Karnataka, INDIA

Story: The Usual Sunday

Ravi Kanchan Bhengra

Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Story: School Fees

Rutvij Tope

Maharashtra, INDIA

Story: Your Name

Steve Wade


Stories: An Ambush of Tigers , Trouble in the Forest

Sreelakha Gopalapillai


Story: Ego

SP Singh

Uttarakhand, INDIA

Story: Cherrapunji

Sheba Ghosh

West Bengal, INDIA

Story: Skinny Malai

Sharmila Bhattacharjee


Story: Tacit

Soham Paul

Gujarat, INDIA

Story: Love, Lust…Deception

Swagat Barooah

Assam, INDIA

Stories: The Scream , Raam ke Naam

Shyamolima Saikia

Assam, INDIA

Stories: Atop the Bamboo TreeHeirloom

Supratim Chaudhury

Karnataka, INDIA

Story: Shellshock

Sangeetha Menoki

Kerala, INDIA

Story: Softer than Petals

Shreya Thokala

Telengana, INDIA
Stories: The Mountain JasminesIn the Hollow of the Tree

Sameena Farzana

Tamil Nadu, INDIA
Story: On Read

Shabnoor Rahman

Assam, INDIA
Story: Proud Flesh

Sneha Sudha Komath

New Delhi, INDIA
Story: Home

Sushma R Doshi

Bihar, INDIA
Story: Heroine

Shaista Parvez

Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Story: The Essence of Virtuous Woman

Tiffany Lindfield

Story: Cards

Udbhav Rai

Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Stories: Gulp Fiction , Death Row Sun Melancholy ,

Vandana Jena

Maharashtra, INDIA
Stories: The Martyr , One Rotten Apple , The Choice , Initiation Rites , Blood Lies

Vidushi Bhardwaj

New Delhi, INDIA
Story: Reunion

Vibha Balaji

Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Story: A Lesson In Loving

Varisha Abdullah

New Delhi, INDIA

Story: Beyond Our Dupatta

Vijay Likhite

Maharashtra, INDIA

Stories: The Real Life Experience ,  The Long Lost Friends , That Night

Vallinath Mangalampalli

Telengana, INDIA

Story: Just It was luck