This is the third year the Sun Magazine has held a Holiday Short Fiction Contest, and once again I was surprised at the number -- and quality -- of the entries. We received over 400 this year, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the writers probably don't have a short story about Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa lying around in their desk drawers. Most of the entries, I'd be willing to bet, were written specifically for the contest. (Well, I did come across a couple that I remember distinctly from last year. But only a couple.)
One difference this year was the number of excellent children's stories we received. Last year we had so few kids' entries I seriously considered discontinuing that part of the contest. I'm glad I didn't; this year whole school classes sent in their short stories. Note how many of our Honorable Mentions were written by kids 14 and under -- there were so many good children's stories it's too bad we don't have room to print a second- and third-place winner.
Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to enter; it was great to get such a positive response to our contest. And I hope all of you enjoy reading our winning stories as much as I enjoyed reading the entries as a whole.
Have a good and peaceful holiday.