And we have a winner! Well, nine winners, actually.
We were honored to have best-selling fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss judge this contest. With 650 entries from all over the country, it was a tough job. Patrick’s eye for character, story, and humor are evident in his final selection – as is his ear for great radio. The nine winning stories he selected grab us from the first sentence and leave us with a smile, a shiver, and a feeling of completion. In 600 words or less, that’s quite a feat!
Here are the winning stories:
Be sure to tune in Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through November 2nd for reenactments of the winning entries as performed by the amazing 9XM Players and produced by WPR’s team of audio engineers.
Also, Patrick will present the winning selections in a Wisconsin Life Halloween Special hosted by WPR’s Veronica Rueckert. He and Veronica will play the winning entries and talk about what makes a great ghost story — the show will air on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio on Friday, October 26 at 10 a.m. and again on the NPR News and Classical Music Network on Halloween evening — Wednesday, October 31 at 6 p.m.
- Andrew McDonnell, Beaver Dam WI — “Curtain Call”
- Kurt Pankau, St. Louis MO — “Stefan the Wise”
- Alan Barasky, Deerfield, IL — “Mom’s Soup”
- Darlene Rickert, Green Bay WI — “The Rusted Bell”
- Matthew Martinez, Holden LA — “Darcy Davis”
- Jonathan Blyth, Bloomer WI — “You Are What You Eat”
- Eric Van Vleet, Marinette WI — “Presidential Phantasm”
- Joanna Truman, Burbank CA — “Scrapbook of the Gods”
- John Pigeon, Green Bay WI — “For Better or For Worse”
Those that made it to the semi-finals were:
- Kyle Spires, “Midnight Melody”
- Dale-Harriet Rogovich, “One Less Mouth”
- Aimee Ogden, “Wisconsin Winter”
- Rachel Cordasco, “Ghost of a Story”
- Jonathan Muzzall, “Lady of the Frozen Lake”
- Anna Sweet, “Clowning Around”
- John Lagorio, “Interview With…”
- Stuart Mammel, “The Sisters”
- Breanna Speth, “Boo”
- Bruce Carroll, “The Doll”
- Jesse Tauriainen, “Mr. Malston’s Window”
- Iulian Ionescu, “Lady in White”
- James Brakken, “Ghost of the Apostles”
- Heather Lindstrom, “Work of the Damned”
- Araminta Macintosh, “Spider Bites”
- Charles and Jessica Payseur, “How I Learned to Bake Cookies” and “Hollow”
- Catherine Brennan, “Superstition”
- Michael McGovern, “Totems”
- Sophia Derbes, “Jennie Webber Lake
We’ve posted the text version of some of the semi-finalists.
Congratulations to all our writers – we were, frankly, stunned at the quality of writing that came in. Public radio listeners are amazing storytellers!