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BISON cover letter PRIZE runner-up photo

This month sees publication of our newest print issue, Hobart #14. As such, and as we have done to accompany our last few print issues, we are devoting the entire month to various "bonus materials" -- photo essays, alternate endings, drawings, extra short fictions, interviews, & more! Almost half of #14 is made up of the six BUFFALO Prize winning stories, each chosen by an SF/LD author. When we decided to run the contest, we also decided to have a "best cover letter" sub-contest (the BISON Prize), to make it interesting for both ourselves and those willing to give us some money to consider their stories. Below is one of the five BISON Prize runner-ups.

Dear Hobart,

I’ve found you out. I know you’re only putting on this contest so you can enter it in the [name withheld] Review’s contest for best contest (wherein only those contests 2,000 words or less are eligible). I contest this, this contest, this test, this con. You may point to me and say I am encouraging your behavior by submitting, and I submit to you this: I am only entering your contested contest so later I can submit my submission to the [name withheld] Review’s contest for best contest submissions, best contestants essentially, a con and a test that admits its contestedness and looks only at the name on the submission packet and the cover letter before making an inevitably contested decision.

After I submit my submission to you, I will return to reading the Hobart Luck issue, which unluckily arrived to me damaged and empty of money, and I will crack its spine as I eat boneless wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, wings covered in various sauces, each sauce a submission in a contest hosted by me, by myself, to find the winning sauce on the winning wing, the one that will have won my taste test, my contest of taste, which is basically the same as yours.

As I read, the Luck issue will become the Buffalo Sauce issue, gradients of flavor up and down each page, an ascension of spiciness: sweet BBQ, teriyaki, parmesan garlic, mango habanero. There will be signature seasonings seasoning the typeface signatures of the contributor’s notes, please note the all-new Salt & Vinegar. The levels of heat will be measured as follows: Mild Jimmy Chen, Medium Amelia Gray, Hot Sean Lovelace, Blazin’ Brandi Wells.

I will send you pictures of the Buffalo Sauce issue, try to buffalo you into letting me win this contest, this test, this con, that is buffaloing writers into submitting, buffaloing us into an obstinacy of buffalo, a gang of bison, a stampede of submissions from which only six will emerge, feeling testy and conned. I will cut letters from each story in the unluckiest Buffalo Sauce issue of Hobart and paste these letters into ransom notes and mail you severed dog-ears of pages, sauce-slathered and seasoned, but you already have my money, so you will not care, you will not care, you will not care.

Sam Martone



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image: Aaron Burch