Edited By Amie M. Evans and Paul J. Willis
Saints and Sinners 2011: New Fiction from the Festival contains a mixture of short fiction representing many genres and styles as well as a diverse number of themes and experiences. The completely-blind, three-tier judging process that was used yield what we think is a wonderful set of stories. We were honored to have John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, as the final selection judge for the 2011 contest.
We have included nine stories from the contest in this volume. The winning story, “Fishwives” by Sally Bellerose, is a sad but funny romantic tale of two lesbians living their final years together in poverty. The two runners-ups, “The Kindness of Strangers” by John Morgan Wilson, which is set in the Castro during the Reagan era and shows the stark realities of the early victims while capturing an intimate slice of AIDS history, and “Everyone Has a Shazam!” by Felice Picano, recounts a surprise reunion at a book signing that leads to reminiscing about college days and an unexpected adventure in the Hampton, are as different from each other as, well, as Saints & Sinners. The remaining finalist stories included in this volume are by David-Matthew Barnes, ‘Nathan Burgoine, J.R. Greenwell, Jeff Lindemann, Tasha C. Miller and John Morgan Wilson.
In addition to the finalists from the Second Annual Short Fiction Contest, we are honored to include stories from “Festival Favorites.” We have wonderful new works from four past attendees—Noel Alumit, Suzanne Hudson, Cecilia Tan, and Joe Formichella.
praise for Saints+Sinners Literary Festival
“Saints & Sinners is hands down one of the best places to go to revive a writer’s spirit. Imagine a gathering in which you can lean into conversations with some of the best writers and editors and agents in the country, all of them speaking frankly and passionately about the books, stories and people they love and hate and want most to record in some indelible way. Imagine a community that tells you truthfully what is happening with writing and publishing in the world you most want to reach. Imagine the flirting, the arguing, the teasing and praising and exchanging of not just vital information, but the whole spirit of queer arts and creation. Then imagine it all taking place on the sultry streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter. That’s Saints & Sinners—the best wellspring of inspiration and enthusiasm you are going to find. Go there.” —Dorothy Allison, National Book Award for Bastard Out of Carolina, and author of the critically acclaimed novel Cavedweller
“The Saints & Sinners Literary Festival is a homecoming for me every year and the anthology is what I use to tide me over until next season. I loved being included last year with all the great story tellers who evoke the mystery and magic of New Orleans. Opening the anthology is like sitting with your favorite writers in the Festival lobby. —Jewelle Gomez, Lambda Literary Award winner for The Gilda Stories