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BY NICO VREELAND

Over at the normally mild-mannered lit mag, storySouth, it’s time for the annual Million Writers Award, which highlights and rewards the best online fiction of the year. At least, that’s what they say in the press release. The truth is far more sinister.

storySouth announced their longlist of notable stories last week, and included B.J. Hollars’s hilarious nudist romp, “The Naturalists,” and Andrea Uptmor’s lyrical dream story, “Liz Phair and the Most Perfect Sentence.”

Just last summer, our collection of our favorite online fiction, The Chamber Four Fiction Anthology (which you can download, now and forever, for free), had the honor of including both Hollars and Uptmor for those very stories. Now, storySouth pits them against each other, vying for the attention of fellow anthologee and Award judge Svetlana Lavochkina, whose lovely piece, “Semolinian Equinox,” made the Million Writers shortlist last year (and was also a story selected for the C4 Anthology).

We can only assume storySouth engineered Svetlana’s Choice as some kind of study in behavioral morality. We predict Lavochkina demands pushups in the yard by week’s end. We’ll interrupt our regular schedule with breaking news, as warranted.

(In all seriousness, each of those stories is outstanding, storySouth always does great work, and their contest is well worth exploring. Here’s the link again.)

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