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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Friday, October 10, 2008 3:32 pm
. . . and when they announced the first runner-up, we all started screaming!
Posted by: Keir Graff


Since I’m surrounded by crime fiction writers, I guess the moment is right to reveal that a piece of my own crime fiction, the short story, “Untitled,” was the second runner-up in Time Out Chicago‘s “Chicago Crime Writers Competition.” The first round was judged by Random House/Vintage Books editorial staff, and Michael Harvey (The Fifth Floor, 2008) selected the finalists with help from TOC’s books editor, Jonathan Messinger.

Check out the first runner-up, “Still Life,” by Lori Rader-Day, and the winner, “The Cutting,” by Chad Sanborn.

It’s downright heartening when a general-interest magazine takes a specific interest in fiction–here’s hoping it’s the start of a broader trend!



7 Responses to “. . . and when they announced the first runner-up, we all started screaming!”
  1. Pete Says:

    Congrats, Third Place Writer Dude. Actually it’s hardly surprising that a “general interest magazine” like TOC takes an interest in fiction, given that their books editor is Jonathan Messinger, literature cheerleader and tireless man-about-town.

  2. Keir Says:

    Thanks, Pete–although, for the record, I did say, “heartening,” not “surprising.” I’m well aware of TOC’s support for short fiction, having had a short story in their Halloween issue last year. But I do hope Messinger’s amazing ethic rubs off. I always enjoy finding fiction and poetry in the feature pages of any publication.

  3. The Wandering Reader Says:

    Congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment. :) I didn’t know that ‘Time Out Chicago’ sponsored a contest like this! And to have it judged by the Random House/Vintage Books editorial staff… that is very impressive; you should be very proud!

    Congratulations again,

    - The Wandering Reader

  4. MarianLibrarian Says:

    Had I been there I’d have been screaming. I’d probably have been escorted from the room, too, after starting a chant of “Robbedrobbedrobbed.”

  5. Keir Says:

    You’re too kind. However–and I am speaking purely hypothetically here–if I were to be robbed, wouldn’t that be the appropriate outcome of a crime fiction contest?

    The other stories were quite deserving. I’m just happy to have mine alongside them.

  6. Chad Sanborn Says:

    Keir, I enjoyed your story immensely.

    Hilarious premise, the theft and fencing of conceptual art, and one you carried out quite nicely.


  7. Keir Says:

    Thanks so much, Chad. It was one of those ideas that just made me slap my forehead and smile with anticipation. I could use more of them!

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