This is a past event.

Piccolo Spoleto Fiction Open 

When: Sat., June 5, 5-7 p.m. 2010
Price: Free
www.piccolospoleto.com

Hear new stories read as they were meant to be
The Piccolo Fiction Open is held in the courtyard next to Blue Bicycle Books. Winners of the annual competition read their short, snappy stories. If one or two can't be present, the prose will be read by the organizer, Lisa Rentz, who set up the Open a little more than 10 years ago

There are no hokey endings
The judges have plenty of reasons to turn away work, but some common problems rear their shameful heads each year. "Some have clichés," says Rentz. "Others have a strong start — that's very important — then they just piddle away. Bad endings are tough to handle. Surprise hokey endings aren't good either."

But there's plenty of good writing
So what is Rentz looking for in a winning piece of fiction? "Something that holds my attention all the way through, that's authentic, honest, and revealing of character and narrative." Examples of all these can be found in this year's best stories: "This Story Takes Place on a Ship" by student Carmen Bush, "Five Finger Discount" by Beaufort-based Susanna Glattly, the punny "Presently the Tension Drains" by three-time winner Heather Magruder from Greenville, "Cedar Waxwing" by housepainter Emily Wood, and the "Southern Gothic Music Appreciation: a Correspondence Course" by Foster Osborne of Columbia.

— Nick Smith

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