The Winners

The 14th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Short Story Contest

First Place: 'Chlorine'

Originally from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Gail Miller now resides with her husband in Albuquerque, N.M. She is a frequent visitor to Austin, where her sister teaches fourth grade at St. Elmo Elementary. "Chlorine" was inspired by a friend who actually does spend her summers conducting sting operations on city pools – seizures, drownings, and all. Miller has been previously published in the Blue Mesa Review and is currently working on her first collection of short stories.

Second Place: 'That One Sad One'

Will Furgeson was born and raised in Austin. He graduated from the University of Texas in 2003.

Third Place: 'Mojo Nixon Is God'

Susan Shields finished her master's in creative writing from the University of Texas in 1999 and has been the food writer for Tribeza magazine since its inception. She has published three other stories – winning the top prize in the Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest in 2000 with her story "Demolition" – all of which are part of a collection called Bodies on the Lawn. At nights, she is a waitress at Vespaio. She lives in South Austin with her boyfriend, Nathan Baumann, and their new daughter, Lux Louise.

Honorable Mention: 'An Unfit Man'

Martin H. Boozer grew up in South Austin. After finishing high school on disciplinary probation, he was invited by Bibb Falk to throw strikes for University of Texas baseball. An injury halted his march to Cooperstown, so Boozer entered law school as an experimental student in the Sixties. After 10 years of legal practice, Boozer became disillusioned by his failure to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, and dropped out to study filmmaking. He currently makes food money as an overpaid divorce lawyer and mediator. Writing helps keep training wheels on his psyche.

Honorable Mention: 'How to Make a Piñata'

Jenny Browne is the author of two collections of poems, Glass (Pecan Grove, 2000) and At Once (University of Tampa, 2003). She received the Writers' League of Texas 2002 Fellowship in Poetry and the 2003 Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction. Her poems have been displayed on buses in downtown Austin through the Poetry Society of America's Poetry in Motion program and published in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in downtown San Antonio and spends too much time on I-35 in commute to Austin, where she's a fellow at UT's Michener Center for Writers.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle