The first ever Open Road Review short story competition for Indian writers who haven’t had a full-length book published attracted 89 eligible entries. The six finalists selected by Shanti Perez, fiction editor, are now a part of Issue 9.

The winner from the finalists was picked by Manjul Bajaj, the competition’s judge, whose short story collection Another Man’s Wife and Other Stories (Hachette India, 2012) was shortlisted for the prestigious ‘The Hindu Prize for Best Fiction 2013’.

The winner of Open Road Review Short Story Prize, 2014 is Gaurav Deka for ‘To whom he wrote from Berlin.’ He gets cash reward of $100. The prize has been sponsored by Shanti Perez. Congratulations to the winner and the finalists.

Manjul Bajaj, who read the six finalists blind, had this to say: The six stories that made it to the final round of judging made for an interesting read. Anatomy of A Traffic Jam impressed much with its smart, sharp depiction of a city’s underbelly. Half The Story stood out for a finely executed ending which stays with the reader. At The Wedding is well-paced and manages to build dramatic tension quite effectively. Technicolour Life makes for an engaging, poignant read. I felt The Problem With Potatoes is intricately plotted but not entirely convincing in its delivery and could have done with defter writing. It was not easy to pick a single winner but I finally settled for To Whom He Wrote From Berlin – it scored over the others for its quality of writing (replete with vivid imagery and sentences that surprise), for the strong sense of place it evokes and for the fact that the characters and setting linger on in the mind well after the story is done with.

Issue 9 also includes interviews of three promising novelists and works from 6 emerging and established poets.

Happy reading.

Kulpreet Yadav

New Delhi, India

 

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Issue 9 / May 2014

Fiction

To whom he  wrote from Berlin, Gaurav Deka, WINNER
Anatomy of a Traffic Jam by Aditya Mani Jha
At the wedding by Shruthi Rao
Half the Story by Vijay Matheswaran
Technicolour Life by Vikram Shah
The problem with potatoes by Shreya Sen-Handley

Poetry

A Million Years by Anant Dhavale
This Is That City by Abhijit Roy
Wish by Taseer Gujral
Clothes Pegs by Vinita Agrawal
After the Inkpot Shattered by Saima Afreen
Him by Neeraja Raj

Interview

Interview with Kota Neelima
Interview with Mahesh Rao
Interview with Minakshi Thakur