2009 Family Circle Fiction Contest Winners

Read the winning stories and meet the authors who took top honors in this year's fiction contest.

Meet the Winners

First Place: "Our Atlantis" by Lisa A. Koosis. "In my writing I always hope to convey a sense of wonder in the world we live in, and the feeling that you never know when you're going to find something unexpected," Lisa says about her story. She currently lives in Highland, New York, where she is self-employed as a researcher and web producer.

Judge Katrina Kenison says: "'Our Atlantis' captures three young women as they stand on the brink of adulthood, each about to leave the safe, familiar world of their shared childhoods to set foot on paths that will lead them toward very different futures. Lisa Koosis delicately limns the intimacy of adolescent friendship and the tender, private pain of midlife loss and disappointment."

Read "Our Atlantis" here

Second Place: "On the Wire" by Vicki L. Wilson. "I never know exactly where a story is going to end up once I start it. I follow my characters wherever they lead me and enjoy the trip." Vicki is working on her first novel and lives in Clinton, New York.

Judge Molly Lyons says: "I love the idea of reading about a mother who used to swing from a trapeze and lives by the credos of the Flying Wallendas. But even more captivating are the children who discover that there's more to their mother than her circus past and how that knowledge helps them shape their own adventurous lives."

Read "On the Wire" here

3rd Place: "The Sanity of Socks" by Cynthia L. Hefti. "I believe that every life has a story—or many stories—and they define us," she says about her longtime love for fiction writing. Cynthia is a mom of two teenage daughters and lives in Manlius, New York, where she teaches seventh-grade English.

Judge Darcy Jacobs says: "Parents in decline was a recurring theme in our entries. What made this story stand out was the range of honest emotions revealed—sadness, frustration and bemused acceptance. Katie, the narrator, was real and relatable, and at the end all I wanted to do was give her a hug."

Read "The Sanity of Socks" here

Meet the Judges

Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day (Springboard Press). "It was a pleasure to read the Family Circle fiction submissions and difficult to choose just three winners. In the end I went for voices that struck me as telling the truth, and stories that, while unique in character and locale, seem to touch something deep and universal in us all."

Molly Lyons, literary agent, Joëlle Delbourgo Associates. "I enjoyed the chance to see the diversity of plot, setting and characters within the submissions. All the stories were vibrant and offered me a peek at what issues, emotions and themes are engaging writers across the country."

Linda Fears, Family Circle Editor-in-Chief

Darcy Jacobs, Family Circle Executive Editor

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