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Literary Ennui

In choosing the winners for your Fiction Contest (Dec. 1), what criteria did City Paper and your staff of judges use? By no means am I trying to demean or slight any of the winning writers’ works (I’m sure they put in a lot of time and effort on their stories), but I was always taught to look for in my readings of short stories and novels, something to enlighten, teach, entertain, feel something, and make me think. With the exception of Lola Pierson’s third-place winner “Good for What Ails Ya,” I got nothing from these stories. I tried to read them again and again, only to find them hard to follow, and me losing interest in what the authors were trying to say or convey. You mentioned that the pickings were slim in your entries. I would have liked to have read what you cast aside. 

Kirk Tarter

Corrections: Andy Stack is the name of the male half of local indie duo Wye Oak, not Andy Cook, as he was mistakenly referred to in last week’s Top 10 music roundup (“The Year in Music,” Dec. 8). And the name of Baltimore Sun staffer John McIntyre’s Twitter account was misspelled in the lineup of Top 10 Entertaining Baltimore Tweeps (Dec. 8). If you want to follow his meticulous tweets, you can do so via @johnemcintyre. City Paper regrets the errors.

Editor’s note: Two new things to look for in this week’s edition. First, longtime CP contributor Violet Glaze returns with the debut of her new column Pop Smear, which will be joining our usual lineup of columns. Go to for the first installment. In addition, we’ll be running biweekly recipes from Gabi Moskowitz, a San Francisco-based foodie who blogs about luxe-seeming yet affordable dishes under the banner BrokeAss Gourmet. Go to and do your best not to salivate all over the page.

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