Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good Housekeeping Contest Follow-Up: Winning Story & Salinger in GH

After yesterday’s write-up about the 2011 Good Housekeeping fiction contest, the literary editor of the magazine kindly pointed me to the link for the story that won the last contest: “Layers of Love” by Lori Rader Day.


It’s a beautiful story about the complications of family ties, with some great writing (and a lot of food!). Here’s a character description I admired for how revealing it is of Shana, but especially of the narrator, Jolie:

“I haven't decided whether or not I like Shana. She's unabashed that she's sleeping with Jeremy, as though sex is something she invented. She seems to think that she's somehow closer to the core of the family because she's dating the older brother. Or maybe it's because she lives out in the hills with them, went to the same high school a few years behind Sam. Fitting into the family on the basis of her résumé, rather than having to wed in, like me. I guess I've decided: I don't like her.”

As you know, before submitting anywhere, the smart writer reads the journal or the previous award winners to get a sense of the style and tone that the editors respond to. So no excuses for a blog reader not to win this contest!

And just for fun, the first time I posted about the Good Housekeeping contest, there was a reference to J.D. Salinger having published work in the magazine: “A Girl I Knew” in the February 1948 issue. Here’s the link to that story (probably illegally posted…read fast before the lawyers for the Estate of J.D. Salinger swoop down): http://lowkey.org/jd/girl.html


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.