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Our New Contest

In contests on July 28, 2011 at 12:39 am

It's our new contest! At first glance these photos won’t seem like they have much to do with one another. Its your job in 350 words or less, to tell us a story of how these photos are connected. Send us your story by Sept 8th to cfrubooks@gmail.com with "Contest" in the subject line. We’ll judge them & pick a winner. Prizes you may ask? Books & notoriety, of course!

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Current Contest: First Lines!

In contests on May 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

We just wrapped up our first lines contest, in which we asked our listeners to hatch a great first line to a story. We ended up some great submissions, including these five short-listed first lines. We think Paul Auster is pretty good at first lines, so we gave three Paul Auster books away to our winner!

The winning submission, courtesy of Peter Demakos:

“Maureen stared blankly at the clock and thought to herself “Now!” and without hesitation she hurled her brothers’ bones into the sun. ”

And the four runner-ups:

Drew Robinson: “Tick (this is never going to work), tock (they’ll figure it out before too long).”

Bry Webb: “It’s stuck.”

Tim Patterson: “As they did every December 20th or so, Rebecca and Jon drove the last few minutes to the airport in silence, the privacy of their thoughts signaling the beginning of a temporary and precarious truce, a Christmastime armistice, that when successful, was as comforting to each of them as woolen knitwear, like toques, mittens, or scarves
crafted with contrasting threads of resignation and resilient hope, red and green, the almost tangible expression of fourteen festive seasons of mutual support and empathy and an equal number of trips to pick up his parents or her brother at the airport or a train station.”

Tim Patterson (again!): “Standing dutifully amid the group of reporters, microphones crowded around him, the Sheriff, a tall man, still young but with a drawn face and bags beneath his eyes, shifted his weight from one foot to the
other as he explained what the department knew and, more importantly, what they didn’t.”

Keep an eye and ear out for our next contest!

“I woke up in Boone, North Carolina…” – contest winners!

In contests on March 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm

We recently wrapped up our first ever Books For Breakfast contest, in which we asked our listeners to submit a very short story (500 words or less) based on this image and the caption "I Woke Up In Boone, North Carolina". Here are the top three submissions, as judged by Barb Minett (owner of the Bookshelf), Mark Laliberte (editor of Carousel Magazine), and our very own Dan Evans. Thanks to everybody who participated!

Michael Roberts
(the winning story!)

The road signs tell me I woke up in Boone, North Carolina. You learn to trust the signs – their weary green faces washed out by the pastel inevitability of ultraviolet light. “You are now entering Boone! Heart of the High Country”. Not an extension of hospitality, a statement of fact. Population: 13 843. An indisputable figure, a reminder of the authority of statistics. So you learn to trust the signs, to appreciate their frankness. Allow yourself to be comforted by absolute truth.I guess it is more accurate to say I woke up in the backseat of my father’s Cutlass Ciera greeted by dry mouthed, astigmatic motion sickness. The vague feeling of having travelled through time. Through blank space. In the front seat my brother’s hand impatiently turns the radio dial past conservative talk radio and the withered rapture of gospel music set to tape to a station broadcasting static and occasionally golden oldies. “Stand By Me”. “Harper Valley PTA”.

“Look who’s finally awake,” says the top half of my father’s face in the rearview mirror. The bottom half of my brother’s face spreads into a grin that tells me I’ve been caught in the act, offering me the humiliation of falling asleep. “I was just resting my eyes”. The futile response cements my disgrace. Failure duly acknowledged, my brother’s hands return to the radio dial; my father’s grip the steering wheel, revealing a network of veins nearly as circuitous as the system of interstates that we currently call home.

My attention drifts to King Street, the major artery of parked cars and local businesses rendered silent by power windows. High school kids smoke filched cigarettes outside of Capone’s Pizza. Huddled together, exchanging conspiracy theories of Al Capone’s connection to their sleepy Appalachian town. Colour coordinated old ladies march together towards weekly book club meetings, carrying dog-eared copies of Rebecca.

I can’t shake the feeling that nobody actually lives here – this is all an elaborate hoax. A theme park. Kids ride bikes, people put the garbage out. After dark, they get in their cars and drive home to sleep somewhere else, leaving Boone haunted by 13 843 ghosts. My spectral existence projected onto another town in the face of the realisation that the only air I will breathe here is conditioned. My feet will never touch the pavement. I can’t locate myself within the trail of cities where I have slept. The family Oldsmobile is a nation unto itself forging through the blank space of America. I am lost in the back seat. Adrift. Displaced. A sign reads “You are now leaving Boone”. You learn to trust the signs.

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