Before I go ahead and post the winner of the FIST contest, who, by the way, was writing machine Robert Crisman, I would like to participate in full disclosure.
Yesterday, Robert wrote to me in the morning to let me know that he had won the FIST contest. I hadn't looked at Eric's site so this was the first that I had heard about it.
As I consider myself a friend of Robert's, I was excited for him, of course. Dismayed that I hadn't won, but happy that Robert had (and Joyce and Jimmy, I would have been overjoyed if you had won, as well).
Later, in the afternoon, Robert brought something to my attention.
His winning entry had been posted on A Twist Of Noir in a longer version.
Robert expressed extreme concern that he had, in his words, "fucked things up" and worried that he had put me and Eric in a situation that neither of us should be in.
My response was simple.
I was not angry.
All I wanted to know was when he had sent the story to Eric and when he had sent the story to me, since the guidelines to the contest were that the story had to be an original piece of fiction, 1000 words or less and so on.
As it turns out, the story in question, CLEARING THE AIR IN PIONEER SQUARE, had been sent to Eric as A PRESCRIPTION FOR NERVES, shortened to 1000 or less.
It was sent to Eric before the October 1st deadline for the contest.
CLEARING was sent to me on October 9th.
I did not post it until October 12th.
Therefore, in my mind, and in Eric's (who I contacted after Robert came forward), this was a completely legitimate entry.
Further, I believe if you read both stories, you will see that many of the words are similar and yet, they are almost two totally different stories.
It is important to me that everything that I am involved with be above board and on the up-and-up. I think we all feel the same way.
Robert didn't have to come forward, but he did.
Eric didn't have to say he was fine with it, but he did.
I don't have to post Robert's shortened version of a pre-existing story, but I will.
I believe that there's no controversy whatsoever.
If you have a differing opinion, you're, of course, free to express it and I will respond to any concerns you may have.
But, for now, without further ado, A PRESCRIPTION FOR NERVES by FIST winner, Robert Crisman.
Irish Times Crime Fiction column, February 2018
13 hours ago