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As we reach the final days of entry into the Bards and Sages 5th Annual Writing Contest, it seems to be an excellent time to reflect on last year's winning submissions, expertly compiled into this June release titled Legendary Horrors: A Collection of Modern and Classic Horror. Eight beautifully crafted stories were chosen in 2007 for this eerie anthology. As is tradition in this honorable contest, each winner received a cash prize, with a matching charitable donation in their honor. In this case the chosen recipient is Donorschoose.org, an organization dedicated to delivering classroom materials to teachers.
It is not difficult to discern why these particular stories were chosen for the anthology. Each one is representative of the mystique of the classic horror novel, whether it is set in twenty-first century America or Victorian era London. As the editor Julie Ann Dawson notes in her introduction, the goal was "to inspire writers to reflect on the classical motifs of horror and give them a modern edge." While I wouldn't say that all of the entries have a modern edge, their purpose is to draw in the modern reader and deliver the nightmarish taunting of vintage horror literature. Even pieces overshadowed by a specific historical period, such as John William Polidori's "The Vampyre," exhibit the seductive charm of elemental evil.
The first-place winner, "Mud Hollow Bridge" kicks off the horror fest. This tale has an urban legend feel to it, and could easily be a story related to generations of thrill-seeking tourists. David Hart's story of a village in denial of its destructive past teases the reader with the absence of closure. The legend remains intact, unsolved and unspoiled by modern investigative tactics.Read more ›
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