Who will emerge?
Without hyperbole, this was by far the most challenging contest we’ve ever judged here at Molotov HQ. The quality of submissions has never been higher, making even the Close-But-No-Cigar shortlist a challenge to crack with such fierce competition.
We saw U.S. entries roll in primarily from the East and West Coasts, with some Midwest thrown for good measure (and a smattering of the landlocked West), and we were thrilled to also read submissions from writers stationed in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
The following writers had stories that made it through several rounds of cuts, but didn’t quite squeak into the Top 10.
Close-but-no-cigar shortlist shout-outs go to: