If I have a time I'll write a post about that other election(s), but today, more on Everyday Mormon Writer's Four Centuries of Mormonism Contest. I've already promoted my own story and hosted a discussion of another, so of course I now want you to vote.
I'm a big believer that the secret ballot is an important option but should never be required. So I'm going to tell you where I stand at this point (but you should still decide for yourself).
I found things to like in all the stories and liked some a lot. But I can only vote for four. And at this moment I've narrowed it down to five. Actually, I've picked my top three with the final spot up for grabs, but I'm not going to rank them for you. Instead, I'm going to talk about my top five choices by order of their original appearance.
Mon. Oct. 15: “Little Karl” by Melissa Leilani Larson (19th century)
The contest started with this blow to the amygdalae that left parents everywhere shivering. And its matter-of-fact mannerisms only deepen the awful reality.
Thu. Oct. 18: “Maurine Whipple, Age 16, Takes a Train North” by Theric Jepson (20th century)
I know I know I know. This one is mine. And I've spent some time considering my motivations but I really do believe this is a pretty dang good story. And I'm pleased with how its metafictional elements caught people's imagination. Which thing I never did suspect.
Fri. Oct. 19: “When the Bishop Started Killing Dogs” by Steven Peck (20th century)
I was terribly happy when I got to host this story. Besides me being a Peck fan, I found this story hit all kinds of sweet spots. The one between individual necessity and community obligation. The one between easing the reader along and slapping the reader's face. The one between nostalgic Americana and Deliverance. You know. Sweet spots.
Mon. Oct. 22: “The ReActivator” by Wm Morris (21st century)
I think of all the stories in the contest, this is the one that I identified with the most clearly. This is a protagonist I understand---perhaps a little too well.
Tues. Oct. 23: “Oaxaca” by Anneke Garcia (21st century)
This is the only story in my final five that takes place in the future. Make of that what you will. I like how this story plays with the Americentric assumptions of Mormon literature and reveals our common humanity at the same time.
But don't let me tell you what to think. Decide for yourself.