“We had 21 entries in this Micro Fiction Contest. The story had to be no more than 500 words and had to be set at the hotel where we had the 2013 Vancouver Junior Authors Writers Conference. Congrats, Marlowe.” – Laura
by Marlowe Evans, Age 13, Canada
A young girl marched through the parking lot at the Sandman Hotel in Richmond. She clutched a purse that was bulging at the seams; it caused her small frame to tilt slightly. Entering the hotel, she took a deep breath.
She glanced around and saw publishers, authors, and authors-to-be wandering around the lobby. She had a plan: find a publisher and hand over the manuscript that sat in her purse. At fourteen, she had finished her first story and had brought the manuscript here, to the Junior Author’s Conference.
She saw a few distinguished publishers talking in a corner and started making her way toward them when her purse finally ruptured, spilling a few pages of her story onto the floor. One of the publishers, who she recognized as Gerald Anderson of Grange Publishing, walked over to help her. Anderson bent down, picking up one of the fallen pages as she scrambled to gather the others. She deftly tied the hole in her purse shut with a hair ribbon.
“I read the first page … promising. Would that be unpublished, by any chance?” Anderson commented.
She nodded vigorously. “I’m Liza Tucker and you’re-”
“I know who I am, dear,” smiled Anderson.
“Of course you do, “ stammered the girl. “It’s titled Cate. Maybe you would like to read the rest of it?” The girl was persistent. “Maybe at lunch?”
Anderson looked at her carefully. “Yes. Yes I think I will. Lunch, then?”
Liza nodded mutely.
Having attended the morning’s workshops, she realized it was finally lunchtime. She opened her purse to remove the manuscript for her meeting with Mr. Anderson.
Her purse was empty.
Someone must have taken it! She started to panic. Across the room, a red haired boy held a familiar looking stack of papers. It was her manuscript and the boy was handing it to one of the publishers.
She flicked her brown hair behind her shoulders and strode across the floor, halting in front of the woman now holding the manuscript.
“That is my story. He stole it,” she stated simply.
The boy looked at her, aghast.
“No it’s not! I spent ages writing this. It even has my name on it- Allan Dickson,” he retorted.
He’d printed a new title page. Without her laptop, Liza had no means to prove the story was hers. The publisher walked away- still holding the manuscript.
“I liked your story,” sneered Allan. Liza had to restrain herself from hitting him. Suddenly, the publisher reappeared. She placed the manuscript in Liza’s hands.
“Your friend, Gerald Anderson, took one look at this and confirmed it’s yours.” The she turned to Allan and said, “I recommend you don’t steal the work of others.”
The publisher walked away as Allan slithered into the crowd.
Six months later, Allan Dickson found himself staring at the bookstore’s bestseller rack. Cate by Liza Tucker sat at number one.
“Have you read this?” asked a customer. “I hear Cate is a terrific read.”
“I just work here, lady,” grumbled Allan.
Runners up were:
“The Elevator Ride” by Emily Hughes
“Flite and Seven Down” by Sylvia Nica
LTC micro fiction contests are only open to writers who are on the Insider Mailing List. It’s free to sign up.