The Winners for 2019
1st Place Winner
Alexa by Joe Godfrey, Woodbury, Connecticut
Artificial intelligence goes amuck when a playwright, attempting to come up with a good plot for a short play festival, jokingly asks his Amazon ECHO for help. Things fly out of control when he realizes that "Alexa" is trying to take over!
2nd Place Winner
Taking Away the Sting by Scott Gibson, Evergreen, Colorado
"Sting" is a gentle dramedy set aboard a city bus. One commuter "gifts" a fellow passenger with a small houseplant to commemorate their one-year anniversary of riding the bus together. Since the two men don't actually know each other and have never exchanged a single word until this moment, the gesture comes across as being more unsettling and creepier than it does sweet and endearing...
3rd Place Winner
Only Essentials by Michael P. Adams, Glendora, California
While facing evacuation from their home due to an approaching wildfire, a couple find a box tucked into a closet corner. Inside are their gay son’s ashes. Reminiscing about what they've lost, they question whether to take the box with them or leave it behind.
Soap Box by Flavius L. Brown, Memphis, Tennessee
Two nameless strangers from very different walks of life meet on a busy street corner. One offers the other a gift with no explanation. Motives are questioned, philosophies challenged, and books are judged by their covers
A Bubbe’s Gift by Ellen Davis Sullivan, Andover, Massachusetts
A Jewish grandmother gives her granddaughter a surprising gift, but it isn’t what’s in the box that makes
the present mean so much.
A Gift with Purchase by Christopher Wiley, Palm Springs, California
A Gift with Purchase is the story of two gay men on Pride Day morning ten years into the future. They receive their allotted government medicine ration to cure HIV, but there is only one dose available to them
The Box by Libbe HaLevy, Tujunga, California
What if you were given a box that you were told had in it the answers to all the questions that seem to have no answers? Would you open it… or not? And what would you do with that information if you were the only person who has it? That’s the dilemma facing an average person who falls into an extraordinary situation.
David Foster Wallace Expounding in an Elevator (The One-Up, Two-Down Rule)
by Christopher Cotton, Germantown, Tennessee
“Say the universe’s Bureau of Squaring Things Out detected a major rule violation in a particular elevator. I mean, they’d have to send David Foster Wallace, right?”
My Darling Love by Joe Gulla, Scarsdale, New York
“MY DARLING LOVE” tells the story of David, a gay New Yorker (70’s) and his strained relationship with his “Grand Nephew” Milo (20’s). Milo has purchased a vinyl record (a “45”) of Stevie Wonder’s hit, “My Cherie Amour” on eBay for David. It is special because it is the ACTUAL record from New York City's legendary Stonewall Inn’s jukebox! This gift inspires a heated dialogue between two gay men…
from two VERY different generations.
A Little Empathy by Phil Darg, Maple Grove, Minnesota
Where are we? Why are we here? No one knows . . . all we know is that someone is down – unable to get up – and another person stands by passively – watching as they struggle to rise. A Little Empathy is an abstract tale of aspiration set against the generally unsympathetic nature of humanity.
HEREHEIS by David Couter, Chattanooga, Tennessee
A father and his transgender son have an impromptu funeral for the father’s former daughter. Witty and heartfelt.