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2009 WD Popular Fiction Award Winners

Marcy Kennedy’s story’s intense connection with readers earned her top honors in the 2009 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. by Melissa Hill

Nagging forgetfulness. Haunting memories. Crippling anxiety. A goldfish in a plastic bag.

As the rush of panic and fear falls on Candice, the tension builds in Marcy Kennedy’s short story “A Purple Elephant.” With each page detailing Candice’s relapse into her dark sleepwalking habits, readers are drawn into her turmoil. As we crave the aching tension climbing up our throats, “A Purple Elephant” gives us exactly what we’re looking for—and that’s the essence of pop fiction.

Kennedy’s story’s intense connection with readers earned her top honors in the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. She surpassed more than 1,500 other entries in five categories (horror, science fiction/fantasy, mystery/crime, thriller/suspense and romance). And no matter what naysayers might think about the literary merits of genre writing, it’s called popular fiction for a reason: Readers love stories that connect with them immediately in unique, powerful ways.

Kennedy, a full-time writer from Ontario, Canada, knows the importance of audience appeal in any genre— her proudest moments as a writer are when “something I wrote helped them, or made them laugh, or made them cry, or made them shudder.”

She’s not new to crafting thrillers, either: Her short story “The Replacements” won first place in the thriller/suspense category of the 2007 Popular Fiction Awards. Currently, she’s working on meshing genres and mounting tension in a romantic-suspense novel.

Click here to read an expanded Q&A with Kennedy.

The Prizes Marcy Kennedy wins $2,500, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest books and a copy of the 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Category winners each receive $500, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest books. and a copy of the 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Read the Winning Entries (COMING SOON) Grand Prize Winner: "A Purple Elephant" by Marcy Kennedy
Horror Winner: "Penance" by Jerry Guern
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Winner: "The Goodsman" by Tony L. Stephenson
Thriller/Suspense Winner: "The Grimblethorne" by Gregory Kaufman
Mystery/Crime Winner: "The Recidivist" by Olaf Kroneman
Romance Winner: "The Asylum Queen" by Jason Wilder Call for Entries Click here for information on next year's Popular Fiction competition.

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