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Ottertail writer wins 'Short Story Challenge'

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The Lake Region Arts Council and The Arts Partnership are happy to announce the winners of the Fourth Annual 6 Word Short Story Challenge.

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East Otter Tail was well represented, with Heidi Kratzke winning the Minnesota contest. An Ottertail resident, Kratzke is a staff writer with the EOT Focus newspaper.

The panel of three judges, Joan Ellison, Beth Rose, and Luke Anderson, all who are poets and authors themselves, had a great time choosing this year's winners. A good six word short story should leave the reader wanting to know more of the story, show clever use of the limited words, and hopefully leave the reader experiencing some kind of emotion-either a chuckle or an "ah hah!"

The 6 Word Short Story Challenge was based on a bet made to Ernest Hemingway. He was once challenged to write a complete story in six words. Here is what he wrote:

"For sale: baby shoes, never used."

Some people say it was written to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors. But it proves that it is possible to create a short story with just six words.

The response to the TAP/LRAC challenge was exciting. The entries ran the gamut from clever, to deeply touching.

Minnesota First Place Winner:

Drive-by. Stubbed toe spared his life.

-Heidi Kratzke, Ottertail

Honorable Mention:

With his reputation, a blank gravestone.

-Jerry Begley, Battle Lake

Locksmith's wristwatch hides numbered Auschwitz tattoo.

-Timothy James, Ottertail

Again, I was in the obituaries!

-Dan Allenspach, Hancock  

North Dakota First Place Winner:

Spaceship, illegally parked downtown, was impounded.

-Lee D. Rorman, Fargo

Honorable Mention:

Quietly she painted the walls red.

-Sue Hapala, Fargo

Like father, like son, they cheated.

-Sue Petry, Fargo

Three cygnets hatched; one flew south.

-Wayne Beyer, Wahpeton

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