KEY WEST, Fla. — More than 2,100 people submitted stories to the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest, competing to create in Ernest Hemingway’s former Key West writing studio. But none could outshine “Wallpaper” by Ireland’s Denyse Woods.
Competition organizers announced Thursday that Woods, who lives in Inniscarra, County Cork, had won the competition. The writing challenge was open to entrants in several countries who submitted stories of 500 words or less.
Woods’ “Wallpaper” depicts a woman so enthralled by mysterious letters from a traveling stranger that she papers her walls with them.
Contest judge Karen Russell, was a 2012 Pulitizer finalist for fiction, praised the story for its vivid word pictures and eloquent description of the reading experience.
Woods plans to spend up to 10 days writing in the Key West studio where Hemingway authored novels and short stories in the 1930s — an opportunity never offered before.
“To be able to write in Hemingway’s studio in Key West, it’s got to be the greatest literary prize available,” said Woods. “And it’s daunting as well because the spirit of such great writing is in that room, and it’s also incredibly exciting. I just hope I can do him justice — and do the award justice. I’ll do my best.”
Her prize also includes accommodations in a residency cottage at The Studios of Key West, funds for travel, the chance to attend Key West’s 2016 Hemingway Days festival, and a day of fishing in the Bacardi Oakheart Key West Marlin Tournament.
The Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest celebrates the Key West literary heritage that dates back to Hemingway, who wrote classics including “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Green Hills of Africa” while living on the island.
You can read “Wallpaper” HERE