For our Quick.SAND flash competition (fiction and nonfiction), we requested 300 of your words neatly bound into stories. You delivered, and we devoured. The best stories often began with a seemingly insignificant object or image that accrued weight over the brief course of the text. They were the pieces that took best advantage of their miniature scale by creating immensity through simplicity, lingering beyond a brief read by suggesting a larger psychology or world. Each story felt like a photographic flash, contained and constrained but fully formed. The winner of our competition, “Cuffs” by Marion Michell, is a sound-sensitive piece that concerns a collared piece of clothing – its exact nature is unclear, but this isn’t critical to know, for Michell delves underneath this subject, arriving at a place, a history, a memory quite different from where she started.
In our newest issue, SAND 12, we’re featuring “Cuffs,” alongside the second- and third-place winners (“The Life of a Hit” by Anthony Zilli, and “Stone idols” by Tristan Foster) as well as two other pieces we loved (“The Shirt” by Ryan Eyers, and “Altar of Lost Things” by Barbara Leahy).We also want to give a shout-out to the pieces submitted by Terry Barr, Stephen Benz, Nisha Bhakoo, O. J. Tong, and Jesper Wung-Sung (translated by Lindy Falk van Rooyen).