A few months ago, one of our favorite Portland jewelry lines, betsy + iya, launched a short story contest on Facebook. The inspiration for the contest was rooted in Betsy’s use of storytelling in her jewelry designs to evoke certain emotions and connections between herself, friends, family and strangers alike. Over 100 contestants submitted their 40-word stories (such a fun challenge!), which went through a round of public voting and were ultimately judged by a celebrity panel. The panel was comprised of author Nancy Rommelmann (Transportation: Stories, The Queens of Montague Street), Kevin Sampsell (author of A Common Pornography, founder of Future Tense Publishing), B Frayn Masters (host/executive producer of Back Fence PDX), Courtenay Hameister (host of Live Wire!) and Nathalie Weinstein (editor of PDX Pipeline). It was a hard decision, but the panel of judges narrowed down the talented entries and named three winners.
3rd place winner ($50 gift certificate), Marisa Petry: An Invitation Abroad
“Reaching into her pocket, she felt the soft, worn edges of the letter he had sent months before. Her eyes wide with anticipation, she knew it was now or never. ‘Wait,’ she said, and she stepped out into the sun.”
2nd place winner ($100 gift certificate), Jessica Starr: Packed and Ready
“Starr slips a note to the man at the bar. She calls her girlfriend. Meet me at the bluffs. They drink prosecco out of the bottle with the past, present, and future. Laughter, tears, dreaming. Let’s runaway. I’m already packed.”
1st place winner ($400 gift certificate), Tess Fahlgren: To Denmark
“I left my green flowered scarf wrapped around the empty whiskey bottle in the pocket of his leather jacket. He’ll find it when I’ve already flown away.”
As part of the deal for winning first place, Betsy will create a piece for her newest collection, based on the inspiration from Tess’s story. The piece will be released early this summer, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
Written by: Lauren Kodiak