Issue 77, Summer 2024

Editor’s note

Dianna Sinovic

Welcome to the summer issue of the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable! On the calendar, summer has also officially arrived, as my electric bill can attest, given the recent string of days heavy on the heat and humidity.

I’ll start off this issue by offering congratulations to the winners of this year’s short story contest: First place goes to Rhonda Zangwill for “Oh! Christmas Tree”; second place, to Bettie Nebergall for “Just Ask Santa,” and third place, to Mary Adler for “Nellie the Narragansett and the Transferware Platter.” Honorable Mentions go to A.C. Blake for “A Feast to Die For,” J. Bosley for “A Wintry Mix,” and Joan Mularz for “Cousin Bonnie’s Plus One.”

Our featured story in this issue is Elizabeth Rosen’s “Waiting for Abalone over a Discussion of Favorite Books,” a tale of a first date that ends . . . well, you’ll just have to read it. Our featured poetry is by Peggy Heitmann, whose “June Afternoons with Grandmother Lillie” conjures up a summertime memory when the days seemed to stretch forever.

Also in this issue you’ll find “The Proposal,” a tale of romance by Laury A. Egan. Julian Koslow’s “Sudden Death Overtime” honors a lost friend. For a splashy revenge, you won’t want to miss Ronald C. Paxton’s “Mud Truluck’s Last Drive-in Picture Show.” And Beatriz Seelaender offers a nuanced view of a mountain destination in summer with “The Alps Awake.”

For our interview, Carol L. Wright talked with author Paula Gail Benson, who is also a member of the Bethlehem Writers Group. In Literary Learnings, Christopher D. Ochs shares a confession about his reading habits.

We at the Roundtable hope you enjoy this issue. As a look ahead, the Autumn issue will offer details about next year’s short story contest, seeking stories of science fiction and fantasy.

The 2024 Short Story Award winners!

Congratulations to our winners:

First Place: Rhonda Zangwill, New York, NY, for “Oh! Christmas Tree”

Second Place: Bettie Nebergall, Mt. Dora, FL, for “Just Ask Santa”

Third Place: Mary Adler, Forestville, CA, for “Nellie the Narragansett and the Transferware Platter”

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order by author’s last name):

  • A. C. Blake, West Columbia, SC for “A Feast to Die For”
  • J. Bosley, New York, NY for “A Wintry Mix”
  • Joan Wright Mularz, Palm Beach Gardens, FL for “Cousin Bonnie’s Plus One”

Featured story

“Waiting for Abalone over a Discussion of Favorite Books” by Elizabeth Rosen

You sat before I did, settling your handsome bulk into the chair across from me, eager to get started and learn if our mutual friend was right that we would have a lot to talk about. There was a pink glow to the wallpaper, to the tablecloths, to the rims of the water glasses through which the tea candle in the center of the table flickered.

Read more . . .

Featured Poetry

“June Afternoons with Grandmother Lillie” by Peggy Heitmann

We sat in rockers on the front porch,
me pitching my ten-year-old body forward
and bumping across the stone porch.
We fanned ourselves
stirring up a languid breeze,
with the paddle fans Daddy gave us.

Read more . . .

Also in this issue

A story by Laury A. Egan

A poem by Julian Koslow

A story by Ronald C. Paxton

A poem by Beatriz Seelaender

Interview with author Paula Gail Benson

Literary Learnings by Christopher D. Ochs

Betty’s Tips and Mixed-Up Words

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