2024-01 January - New Year's Resolution Story Contest

Contest Results!!!

2024 New Year’s Writing Contest — Prizes, Awards, and Recognition!!!

Okay!!! It’s time to stick a bow on our 2024 New Year’s Writing Contest!

First, a huge thank you to EVERYONE who participated, whether by posting a story or leaving a comment. You helped make this a true community event.

Now: Let’s get to the part you’ve all been waiting for. We have a few prizes, but in the end, not enough of them, because so many wonderful people submitted GREAT stories.

2024 New Year's Contest

If you click on 2024-01 January - New Year's Resolution Story Contest above, you will see a list of the entries.

Contest Closed for entries.

Please post your choices for top three stories and possibly win $50.

Start the New Year right by participating in Jill, Emma, and Joanne’s writing contest!

Fifty and Out

Fifty and Out

By Dee Sylvan

June 2023

I’m sitting in my car wondering what in the heck has gotten into me. The Grande Ballroom is hosting my 50-year class reunion and I’m in the parking lot, ready to walk in, but…

18 months ago, somewhere in the Thumb region…

Rachel, one of my best friends from High School and the former homecoming queen, is showing up on my caller id. “Hi Alex, would you be interested in helping plan our 50th high school reunion for the Fort Austin Pirates?”

An Imp has her fun

An Imp has some fun

Parnessal the Imp was feeling mischievous. She thought that it may be fun to change a human into something else. It was something she liked to do. She has changed a human in to a variety of animals, dogs, cats, tigers, rabbits, her favorite was a zebra.

Treehouse

On the cusp of living authentically, Allison Szymanski hopes for one final quiet New Year's Eve with family. But the best laid plans of mice and trans women...

Treehouse
By Marissa Lynn

New Year's Eve

Allison pulled the hood of her sweatshirt over her eyes. She zipped up her jacket, glancing at the walls, grateful that the steps to the old treehouse still held.

Trust Machines - New Year's Revolution

Gary and Leah get persuaded to join in when their friends decide it's time to make a dramatic New Year's Resolution - one that involves the transformation booths that have become common where they live...

(First time here, encouraged by magicshoppe to join the contest.)

Who Am I?

“Bryan, where’s Martin?” Wendy said as he entered. They twins hugged one another.

“I can’t stay long. We broke up.”

“Really? W–?” Marisol said, also giving her brother-in-law a hug.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Bro.”

“There’s nothing you can do about it. We disagreed about something and neither of us were willing to change our positions. It was a mutual understanding that we’d grown apart.”

“You were together for five years.”

A Resolution - of Sorts

December 28

It was three days after Christmas. I’d sent all the thank-you letters and finished all the left-overs. So now I could relax for a few days before the New Year’s Eve binge with my drinking mates.

And that thought set me thinking about the New Year and, for some odd reason, New Year resolutions, things I’ve never really given any consideration to, but perhaps I should. So for the first time, I did, doing a rapid assessment of how my life was going. Were there any facets of it that could do with improvement?

My Last Set of Comments

Please take some time to post your top three choices and possibly win $50.

Trust Your Gut?

Life is all about discovery and adaptation, according to this very good tale by Marissa Lynn. The world changes convulsively as the characters build cocoons and emerge as colorful butterflies.

Bookends

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024

Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
On the high shoes
Of the old friends

A gentle song. Lesser known perhaps but familiar to us both. The single hadn’t gone anywhere, but the album made it to the top of the charts.

I remember the last time I saw her perched on the far end of the bench. I’d walked about as far as my aching bones could carry me so asked if she would mind my joining her.

Today is the fourteenth!

The writing contest will accept entries as long as it is the fourteenth somewhere.

We opened the contest on Oz time and will close on New Zealand time.

For those in the States, there is a five-hour difference between Auckland time and Minneapolis time.

Before the contest started, Emma, Jo, and I posted sample stories. They did not qualify for awards because we are the sponsors. In my opinion, all three stories were exceptional. They should have been because they were mostly group efforts.

What. Have. We. Done?? Simple math on the Contest Entries ...

... Simple math on the number of contest entries (115 is the most recent number I've seen), times the minimum entry length, says we have dump-er-inflict-er-deluge -er- "sent" our Judges well over 277,500, to perhaps around a half million words!

Plus comments. And our responses. And Contest reminders and 'house-keeping' ...

To our Judges and all others involved, may I offer my condolences on y/our success!

The Old Man

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming tonight. I realise it’s a little bit of an imposition for me to ask you..."

Everyone laughed politely, which only seemed to confuse the Old Man. I mean this was the New Year’s party, wasn’t it? And he’d all but told us attendance was obligatory. So surely he must have expected a good turnout.

How I Decided it was Time to Come Out to the World


How I Decided it was Time to Come Out to the World

By
Kristine V. Read

Angered by the continuing news of legislative attacks on the transgender community, Eric needs to make an important decision about coming out to his family, and the world.

Trust Your Gut?

Life and love can yield turns, some welcome, some not. Leah, her friends and family would find that out over the years

Trust Your Gut?
By Marissa Lynn

New Year's Eve 2019

"Why am I here? I wasn't in a contest. It wasn't Halloween. I didn't finish last in my fantasy football league. Nope. I did this to my own damn self."

Jake was lost in his thoughts as Jasmine and Amy had run out of the apartment for God knows what to pull the look together.

More Great Stories!!!

Hi everyone! I’m traveling, but managing— just! — to keep up with the great stories that keep coming in. Just a couple days left to get yours in, authors!

Here’s my next batch of fifteen thumbnail sketches. Great stories - have a read!

Countdown to Confidence

Marriage Counseling

“He refuses to do any of the work you’ve suggested,” Susanna said. “You gave us that charm. He was me for less than ten minutes before he freaked out and we had to swap back.”

“I didn’t want to freak out,” Tyler said. “You didn’t warn me it was your time of the month.”

“It didn’t occur to me that would be a problem.”

“Are you telling me you didn’t freak out when it was your first time?”

She didn’t answer.

Carlos, their marriage counselor, said, “Did you?”

Boys Night Out

Boys Night Out Cover final.jpg
An executive discovers a mysterious package which allows him to become the embodiment of his greatest desire, and it makes an invitation from the boys at work an irresistible opportunity for self-discovery. However, the journey to understanding is fraught with peril, and hell hath no fury like a woman’s.

Go Big or Go Homeless

My entry for the 2024 New Year's Resolution Story Contest

Tired of loneliness, Skylar resolves to find love at any cost. Nudged along by fate, and self imposed circumstance, he's well on his way to a happy future. It just doesn't look like anything he ever expected.

Beware which apps you give access to your information. It could change your life.

Explicit Sex and Other Contest Updates

Despite Explicit Underage Sex stories being excluded from the contest, it seems to have thrived.

The New Year's Resolution Writing Contest has resulted in the following to date:

New stories – 110. . . 100 Contest Qualified
Hits – 121,214
Kudos - 9,851
Comments – 1,447
New authors - 6

Fifteen More Story Comments:

That Damned Rodent

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024

You never expect Hollywood to get it right, do you? I mean not in the slightest. Because why let reality get in the way of a good story? Pure escapism, which isn’t to say pure rubbish. I mean we all need to get away from the real world every now and then.

So anyway. Time loops. More common than you might think.

Still Time

For Carrie, she's often had to do just fine on her own, but rebuilding a broken family relationship and finding unexpected love may be more possible than she thinks as a new year approaches.

Still Time
By Marissa Lynn

Among the less important things Carrie Emerson inherited from her father was the ability to be able to fall asleep from the seated position on the couch.

Closing in on 100 stories!

When we started this contest, Jill, Joanne and I guessed how many stories we would get. I’m normally the cautious one, guessing low and hoping to be pleasantly surprised. But this time I threw sense to the scirocco and guessed that we would more than double the number of entries in the last contest, hitting . . . 55. Joanne, with the sunny optimism of the Aussi girl she is, aimed higher still, thinking we might get seventy. Jill, though, is savvy in the world of sales. She said we’d get a hundred. Amazingly enough, we’re almost there, and we still have a week to go.

Countdown to Confidence

Countdown to Confidence
by Peregrine


Copyright © 2023 Peregrine
All rights reserved.
Disclaimer:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Ghost Town

Ghost Town
I had small hope this year of achieving my New Year’s Resolution. Recognising that it was likely to fare no better than its predecessor of the year before, I’d varied it this time, but I had little faith. My basic need was centred on overcoming the temptation which surrounded me and which in the past I had proved too weak to conquer. The circumstance from which that delicious torment arose was that I was at home, alone, for long hours each day while Carole, my wife, was working. There was no escaping it.

Your Promise to Me

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024

“I don’t really want to go, Janet.”

There, I’d said it. I’ve never known why I find it so hard to be assertive, but it's especially hard with Jan.

She doesn’t like me calling her that, so of course, inside she’ll always be Jan to me.

Call it my little rebellion.

Maybe that’s where I found the courage.

“What do you mean? It’ll be fun. There be free food and free booze and loads of people.”

Second Star to the Right? Newly unabridged

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024
I doubt this’ll count as it’s about a thousand words short, but just for the fun...

“Mr Smee! What in blue blazes do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m steering the ship, captain, like you said.”

“Then why, pray, are we going in the wrong direction?”

“No sir. I beg to differ sir. Not the wrong direction at all. You said, ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning, sir.”

“So do tell me, you imbecile, why it is that we’re steering for the third star to the right?”

My Promise to You

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024
Warning: This story includes mention of a suicide. Proceed with cation.

“So anyway, you know that New Year’s party my work always throws? Well, I asked Colin if he wanted to come, and he said no.”

“Sounds suspicious.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. I mean free food, free booze, a chance to let your hair down and boogie. I mean what’s not to like?”

“Absolutely. So what did you do?”

At The Midnight Hour

A welcoming gathering spot, The Midnight Hour is a place where love can be found, lost and maybe even found again.

At The Midnight Hour
By Marissa Lynn

This would have been a "You may wonder how I wound up here" needle scratch moment, but Ethan Hammond knew exactly how he came to be sitting in The Midnight Hour, sipping on a bourbon cocktail that somehow tasted of chocolate even though there wasn't any in it.

This was the scene of the crime -- where it all started and where it all went completely sideways.

2024 Story Contest Leaderboard Update

COMMENTS ON STORIES/div>


Leaderboard Update

As we enter the homestretch the field is narrowing a little, but here are my picks. You're making it difficult because the quality is improving all the time. So, keep it up, folks!

First, a special accolade to Dorothy Colleen.

Yes Ma'am

Maeryn Lamonte Copyright ©️ 2024

"You know that film?”

We all looked at Caitlyn expectantly, but that seemed to be all she had to say for now. Her focus was on the varnish, and using it to paint my toenails, and that seemed to be limiting her capacity elsewhere.

“Oh, you mean the one with, erm...?” Alice tried. Sometimes all it took was a verbal nudge.

“Yeah, Jim Carrie. You know?” Caitlyn looked up from her efforts at the blank faces surrounding her.

“Ace Ventura?” I hazarded a guess.

Blue Silk

Blue Silk

Blue Silk

by Erisian

 

This year, I hereby resolve…

 

“Seriously, Joe? Are you still working on that journal assignment?”

Cass hovered above a shoulder, or more precisely, peeked over it as they only reached a few inches above five feet even when shoved into boots.

Whereas in contrast I could hardly fit in the chair and had to lean way over to type, seeing as how my knees would never fit below the ridiculously tiny desk standard to each small and drafty dorm room.

False Alarm

The hotel was on a steep hill, which left the basement neither one thing nor the other. Uphill, it was indeed underground, but on the downhill side it had windows open to the sun. The hotel entrance, therefore was sort of ground floor, sort of first floor.

“Hello. Booked in for two nights B and B”

“Name, please?”

“Anderson”

“Mark?”

Late Christmas

Clothes are just clothes, right? It's all just a joke, right? For Miles Carlson? Maybe. Maybe not.

Late Christmas
By Marissa Lynn

As far as conventions go, this one was going well, at least Miles thought so. He picked up some cool finds and was getting compliments on his costume.

For something different, he was dressed as Asuka from one of his favorite anime series, "Sun Runner."

Contest Stories -- My Third Set of Comments

Good morning! It’s February – do you know where your Contest Story is? C’mon, authors! Just two weeks left!

Here are my third set of comments on the stories that have been submitted to date, selected with the assistance of a handy random number generator:

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