The view from our new home in San Diego at sunset. Pretty welcome after two wounded years away. Good job, everybody. Thank you. Take a well-earned bow. And major elbow bumps to our special guest speakers, Jeff Pollak (First Second Coming), Joe Ide (The Goodbye Coast), and Grant Farley (Bones of a Saint). Must admit that emotions ran rife through the weekend, being together again, but so, so worth it to be in the same room – in-person – with so many wonderful writers. Our new reality actually seems to … not suck as much as many predicted.
SCWC*San Diego 36 Award Recipients
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Rural Noir)
The Things That Let You
By Jason Hook of Lancaster, NH
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Urban Fantasy)
Where They Fall
By Katherine Jeffries of Valencia, CA
OUTSTANDING FICTION (Horror)
By Hannah Spraul of Kingsport, TN
Of course, each SCWC holds a contest in which all writers are invited to participate. The rules are simple: Write a piece in any genre you wish of no more than 250 words based on the one-word topic announced Friday night. The topic for SD36 was “Be” or “Bee.” Here’s the winning entry, written pristinely by hand and submitted to the front desk on a 6″ x 4″ scrap of paper which I was expected to read aloud, with glasses, and could not. (Eldering sucks.)
OUTSTANDING TOPIC STORY
Plight of the Bumblebee
of Newtown, CT
Burt was very tired. He worked too hard, but never wanted to admit it. He hated the jokes. Making honey was hard enough work without all these would-be comedians. “Busy as a bee, eh Burt?” they’d say. If he had to hear it one more time, he’d sting himself.
But every day he got a little closer. A little closer to the breaking point. He went to sleep with nothing but buzzing in his head. The internal buzz of his hideous, mindless brethren. But it was them, and they were him. What he hated of them, he hated of himself. A mindless devotion to the monarch. The Collective. Mere acknowledgement of the fact didn’t set him above the rest.
But not tomorrow. Not when this despot visited the honey fields, as she often did. There she would see her busy workers. Busy, yes. And what was busyness, in such a hive? Forced labor. Oppression. Day in. Day out. Barely a second to rest one’s wings. The impoverishment of the few for the benefit of the one. Burt’s antenna twitched. “Busy as a bee,” he thought aloud, polishing his stinger. Busyness was his rage. His hatred. His drive. Busy as a bee, indeed.
And Burt was so, so busy.
Dates for San Diego 37 are Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-19, 2023. Limited to 175 writers, discounted pre-registration opens August 1. Up next, our annual fall event in Irvine takes place September 16-18, 2022. Discounted pre-registration opens March 1st. Limited to 150 participants, full details can be found here.
That’s all for now. Regular updates should begin in August. Until next time…
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC/SWS