Congrats to our January Jumpstart contest winner: Mac Pike

With a respectful nod to the Big Game being played today in New Orleans, I’m excited to announce our judging panel’s decision for the winner of our January Jumpstart contest, “What happens next?”

Let’s raise a glass of something vile and home-brewed to humorist Mac Pike for his First Place entry:

(Julie Helm’s  winning First Sentence from December begins the scene)

Lady at the Faire

“This I confess, and nothing more!” she cried aloud to the howling throng.

The mob was maddened beyond reason. They beat upon the great table with knife pommel and beer stein, they bellowed and gibbered and gnashed their teeth. The young ones eyed her with pimply ill will, protesting or weeping openly in accordance with their ages and temperaments.

“Oh yes!” she continued, “I wanted the pie! I desired the pie! It is fair to say I lusted after the pie with a depraved and unholy hunger!

“Notwithstanding, know this, and know this well! It was not I, who stole the pie.”

“But I damn well know who did!”

The judges’ final decision was unanimous for this #14 entry.

For his winning entry, Mac receives the $32 First Place prize and first choice of prizes from our two new contest sponsors: English Trackers Expert Editing and Wormhole Electric Publishing.

In addition, I’ll invite Mac to participate in SoWrite’s next contest as a judge, rather than a contestant.

Here are our runners-up, subjects of lively debate among our 4 judges:

Taking the silver medal, from novelist/editor Tammy Narayan (#18):

“This I confess, and nothing more!” she cried aloud to the howling throng.

“Oh shit, Wendy the Wart-Nosed palmed her meds!”

Jack’s yell was lost in the melee. Six frantic patients in paper slippers and one shocked resident back-pedaled their plastic chairs away from the ‘sharing circle’ with varying degrees of success thanks to the uneven linoleum. Wendy, already standing on her seat, raked her nails down her sallow cheeks, drawing blood.

“It burns! IT BURNS!”

Jack turned to Eddie. “Five cigarettes say she lands in solitary for a week.”

“You’re on.”

Jack grinned as the orderlies pushed gibbering patients aside to wrestle Wendy to the ground. “Man, I love new resident day!”

Earning the bronze medal, from prolific author Glory Lennon (#12):

“This I confess, and nothing more!” she cried aloud to the howling throng.

She walked off the podium, straight into the clutches of her most intimate and trusted adviser.

“Do you have any idea what you just did?” he shouted over the deafening noise, grabbing her arms in a fierce grip.

“Why, yes, I do believe I just may have ousted a sitting tyrant and replaced him with me. Proud of me, Darling?” she said, her smile widening.

In all, we had 18 entries for the January contest — a great showing after our early slow start in Week One. Site-subscribing contestants were allowed to submit one free entry, with additional entries allowed to help build the prize award at a buck apiece.

Our wonderful panel of four judges — Julie (December winner), Raymond (November winner), Carolyn ( and Bridget (English Trackers, Editors) — spent quite a wild 24 hours hashing out the order of our runners-up, including two entries tied for Fourth Place: #19 from Petra Newman, and #7 from Sarah C Helms. 

I hope you’ll take the time to read and comment on ALL of our entered sentences: Contest Page is here.

We have a $10 Bonus Prize, too, as a big Thank You for entering. I’ll award that to one random non-finalist later this evening. (Check the contest page comments area to find out who gets this prize.)

Thanks once again to everyone who participated in January’s Jumpstart jackpot contest. This wasn’t as easy as I might have thought, and we all had a ton of fun.

Please watch for February’s contest, to be announced after Valentine’s Day.

»photo credit:  davitydave

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  1. Jim Bessey says

    One of things that really made this fun for me was that we enough enough entries so that I couldn’t be sure who’d written what…

    I didn’t realize Mac had won this until I began to compose the contest announcement. My personal congratulations go out to all of our finalists, to everyone who joined in, and especially to our devoted panel of judges who REALLY hustled to hash out the finalists and winner.

    Thank you all!

  2. Congratulations, Mac! Great job —and your entry was a clear leader right from the start . Well done, bud! I should have guessed it was your entry with throngs scrabbling about pie! “:)
    Also, congratulations to our two runners-up Tammy Narayan and Glory Lennon! Both well done! Thanks to all judges also!

  3. Congratulations Mac. That, no doubt, is a winning entry. I see why it has been a unanimous selection. Great job buddy!!!

    Jim, congrats to you, for putting together a very entertaining contest. I think the more entries there are, the tougher it is for the judges to decide who the winner is, which in fact adds to the excitement. 🙂

    • Jim Bessey says

      Not only that, Mandy…

      But it’s also true that the more judges we have the tougher it is to reach a consensus. Oh, but it’s REALLY fun to watch! And I’m not even joking a little. It was a blast. 🙂

      They’re a great gang of judges — as are all of our previous judges, too, of course!

  4. Tamara Narayan says

    Thank you judges for putting me in the top three. I’m honored. Congrats to the winner and other finalists and Jim–this was fun.

    • Jim Bessey says

      Does this mean we won’t be able to recruit you as a judge in the future, Tammy? You were >this close< to being our winner! Hmm... 🙂

  5. Congrats, Mac!

  6. Jim, you’re right, it was far more difficult with four judges, but it was a blast! Congrats to Mac, our First Prize winner! Choosing the BEST of the BEST was easy. Selecting two other runners-up was exponentially more difficult because of the high overall quality of all of the entries. Tammy’s and Glory’s clearly came into the running top three after much discussion! This was a tough competition! Congratulations to both of you, Tammy and Glory…well done!
    Congratulations to all entrants for the wonderful and creative entries and to you, Jim, for hosting such an interesting competition. Thanks to my ‘fellow’ judges too! “:)

    • Jim Bessey says

      This probably speaks to the lack of adventure in my life, Raymond:

      I can’t tell you the last time I had quite as much fun interacting with my Inbox, as I did while watching your four judges try to reach a consensus on our finalists. It was educational and entertaining — thanks to all of you!

  7. Congratulations Mac, Glory and Tammy; Your winning entries were halarious:) Just what I needed this week. Raymond’s right Jim . . . You did a fabulous job putting this together. Right now I’m in ICU with my daughter Angelique. They had to intubate her. I’m staying at the hospital with her. So I’ll probably be away from here for awhile.
    I loved every entry, they were all very well written and what imaginations! They kept me laughing.
    Take care

    • Jim Bessey says

      Thank you, Petra,

      So sorry to hear your daughter is hospitalized. Take care of her and yourself. You are both in my prayers tonight.

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