Saints, Spells, and Spaceships: Audience and Judge’s Choice Awards

A note from Jeanna Mason Stay:

One thing I’ve enjoyed about hosting this contest has been seeing the different ways that readers have responded to these stories. I knew from the outset that not everyone would see the stories the same way I did, but I didn’t know how much I would enjoy seeing other readers’ perspectives (if you missed out, go check out the Mormon Lit Lab Facebook page to see some of the conversations on the various pieces). In a few cases, those comments refocused the way I saw the pieces and added to the depth of my appreciation for them.

But enough about my thoughts! Let’s see what the audience has chosen.

Audience Choice Award

The votes are in. It was a very close race between first and second place, and every story received votes for all four places. With a little spreadsheet magic, votes were tabulated, points were scored, and winners were determined.

And here they are:

4th place: “Hie to Kolob” by Emily Harris Adams
3rd place: “Remote Control Mama” by Becca Birkin
2nd place: “What Have You Against Being Baptized?” by W. O. Hemsath

And the winner is…

1st place: “The 37th Ward Relief Society Leftovers Exchange” by Liz Busby

Judge’s Choice Award

This year’s guest judge, Eric James Stone, read the stories and picked his favorite. And lo and behold, he too has chosen “The 37th Ward Relief Society Leftover Exchange”!

Here’s what Eric had to say about the story:

“What if people’s emotions ended up in the food they made? That little bit of magic allows the characters to literally fulfill the baptismal covenant to ‘mourn with those that mourn.’ But what made this story stand out was the unusual device of a plural protagonist, a ward Relief Society. Far from being a gimmick, the use of a plural protagonist is intricately tied to the theme of the story: ‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another’ (Romans 12:5).”


Congratulations to all of our winners! And thank you, readers, for coming along with us on this journey through LDS spec fic. We hope you’ve all enjoyed the contest and will stick around for the Mormon Lit Blitz next year and for our authors’ future publications.