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.