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Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 995

Last chance for 38!

Q1: October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Q2: January 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021
Q3: April 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021
Q4: July 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021

Results and link to the winners will post when judging is complete.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : June 1, 2021 5:09 am
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Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 995

And for those who may be looking for a head start, you are welcome to join the 450 group. Write 1, 2, or 3 new 450s and get some quick feedback.

 

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/forum/and-the-kitchen-sink-members-only/the-2nd-450-project-starting-june-1/

 

We're starting today, but you can join any time. PM me for the password.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : June 1, 2021 5:12 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113

Not sure what I'll be sending yet, but I've got options. Odds are good I won't be writing fresh, because I have too much going on this year, but I do have a story I finished a few weeks ago that would make a good option if/when I get it back from Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I also have a number of stories that have seen revisions since their last entry into this contest, so I could potentially resub.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : June 1, 2021 7:23 am
AliciaCay liked
babooher
(@babooher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 111
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony

I do have a story I finished a few weeks ago that would make a good option if/when I get it back from Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

I generally submit here first and then shop a story elsewhere when I don't win. I figured the reward from the contest was larger than the reward from a single publisher. I do submit elsewhere, but I'm curious as to the merits of submitting to other publishers first. Faster turnaround? Too much material to wait for just WotF?

2012 Q4: R
2016 Q3: SHM
2019 Q2: HM, Q3: HM
2020 Q2: HM, Q4: SHM
2021 Q1: HM, Q2: SF, Q3: Waiting, Q4: WIP

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Posted : June 1, 2021 8:53 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

I have a few stories that I'm looking at as well. I'm going to plan to try and put together a couple of new stories during the Q4 window too, but if that doesn't come together, I do have some other options to try submitting.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 1, 2021 8:56 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113
Posted by: @babooher
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony

I do have a story I finished a few weeks ago that would make a good option if/when I get it back from Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

I generally submit here first and then shop a story elsewhere when I don't win. I figured the reward from the contest was larger than the reward from a single publisher. I do submit elsewhere, but I'm curious as to the merits of submitting to other publishers first. Faster turnaround? Too much material to wait for just WotF?

It's a bit of both, in my case--I'd already sent in my Q3 when the story ambushed me, and I didn't want to just leave it sit for a month and a half once it was done. I try not to put all my eggs in one basket, at least in part because one basket isn't big enough to hold them all anymore. giggle  

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : June 1, 2021 9:48 am
pdblake
(@pdblake)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 129

I have a 1st draft waiting to be edited but I'm in the process of writing a 2nd. I've been getting a buzz from this one and the words are flowing. I've not had that for a while. 

www.pdblake.co.uk

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Posted : June 1, 2021 10:17 am
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David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 140
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony

It's a bit of both, in my case--I'd already sent in my Q3 when the story ambushed me, and I didn't want to just leave it sit for a month and a half once it was done. I try not to put all my eggs in one basket, at least in part because one basket isn't big enough to hold them all anymore. giggle  

I’ve been toying with a couple of interesting ideas for Q4, but then a story ambushed me (I like your phrasing!) last night, coming out almost fully outlined with the 7point plot within ten minutes. Usually I fiddle around and false start at least twice before I know where the story is going, so I’m pretty excited to have a full-fledged idea to work from this quarter. 

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Submitted

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Posted : June 1, 2021 1:07 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

I've got an idea for my Q4 but I'm still polishing up my Q3 entry. I'll have a bit more of a think and see if I can up the stakes for it a little.

That time of year isn't my busiest, though. I shouldn't have any trouble writing something fresh to submit.

 

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : June 9, 2021 6:12 am
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14

Huh, I'm already brainstorming for ideas, and looking at the workshop offered here, for the upcoming Q4 for my very first submission. I'm very much looking forward to attempting to write a short story.

For the first time when writing a story I'm actually planning on attempting to put some more thought into what I'd like people who read my story to experience. Formerly I've often just written for myself and just had fun with particular characters in particular settings (I really enjoy worldbuilding, and creating characters, sometimes I feel like I almost like that more than writing the actual story lol) 

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

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Posted : June 9, 2021 7:36 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

I'm the writer that subs at the last moment. I really like the story I'm writing right now, hope it's as unique as I think it is.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : June 9, 2021 9:40 am
Wulf Moon liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

@fenrik

Sending in your first submission is great, Erik. Here's to that sub ... and the next!

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : June 9, 2021 8:50 pm
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29

I've got a few options on my Q4 at the moment. I've got one that's already polished and has received raves from my readers, but it's a little shorter than my typical stories at ~1800 words. There's a couple others that are still in development but could be potential diamonds in the rough. 

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
V37: HM
V38: X,R,P

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Posted : June 19, 2021 7:15 pm
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @earthkeeper78

I've got a few options on my Q4 at the moment. I've got one that's already polished and has received raves from my readers, but it's a little shorter than my typical stories at ~1800 words. There's a couple others that are still in development but could be potential diamonds in the rough. 

Just to note, my finalist in Q1 was only 2400 words, and I've heard that Dave is (or, at least, is recently) leaning a little towards shorter stories. If the story's good, definitely don't eliminate it for length. A clean story that does everything it needs to in a tight space is a really good thing.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 19, 2021 10:22 pm
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29

@doctorjest

I'll definitely keep that in mind. Thanks for the advice. My short stories tend to be around 7K - 7.5K words, but that one I originally started as a flash fiction. I ended up opening it a bit more in order to really flesh out the setting and the interaction between the characters. I might just use that one for Q4 and work on developing my other projects for next year's Q1.

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
V37: HM
V38: X,R,P

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Posted : June 19, 2021 10:56 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 152

I’ve go a new one I’m writing for Q4. I enjoy the thrill of starting fresh.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, P

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Posted : June 20, 2021 5:48 am
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29

I can understand that. I love the feeling of starting with a new idea and seeing how it develops. It's one of the things I enjoy most about writing.

My Q3 submission was based off a writing prompt I came across that hit me with a bolt of inspiration that had me writing like crazy. The final product resulted in a couple of twists that came out of left field, but my readers said they enjoyed the whole thing.

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
V37: HM
V38: X,R,P

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Posted : June 20, 2021 7:06 am
Wulf Moon liked
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 745

Man, I got NOTHING for Q4. I'm still working on Q3! Dustin always kicks these threads off and gives me heartburn giggle  

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : June 20, 2021 12:45 pm
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Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

@rschibler

Same! Should definitely finish Q3 but not quite there. I did have one possible interesting idea for Q4. We'll see if I still like it in a few weeks

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, P

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Posted : June 20, 2021 5:35 pm
Wulf Moon liked
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

I have one revised HM set aside as a Q4 possible now. I'm trying to decide if I should sub it early (tempting, as I'm expecting another mess of a period during the Q4 months) or if I should just sit on it, and hold it for a later sub in case nothing else hits me.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 20, 2021 6:10 pm
Wulf Moon liked
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

My Q4 is floating around the unused portions of my brain waiting for recognition.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : June 21, 2021 1:54 pm
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29

@storysinger

Just keep at it. Inspiration can hit us at any moment. Maybe even take a day or two to step away from writing and focus on other things. I've had a story idea come at me out of nowhere while I was cooking dinner, so it happens.

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
V37: HM
V38: X,R,P

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Posted : June 21, 2021 5:13 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Erik
 Erik
(@fenrik)
Active Member
Posts: 14
Posted by: @storysinger

My Q4 is floating around the unused portions of my brain waiting for recognition.

I know the feeling. I have enough ideas for longer stories, but it is kind of hard to come up with an idea for a short story, at least for me. I have some vague ideas at the moment, and even already started writing my first draft, but many things about the story are still a surprise for me lol. I'm sure I'l figure it all out, and that you'll find inspiration too! 

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

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Posted : June 25, 2021 1:43 pm
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DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

My short story ideas come from a few distinct patterns: 

  • Weird things that struck me in the shower
  • Two or more simple ideas, individually lacking enough meat for a story, but which bolt together to produce a much more interesting idea
  • A simple idea for a human story that isn't SF or Fantasy in nature, with a brainstormed twist applied to the story that both moves it into that realm and changes the story in such a way that the new element becomes integral to it
  • Simple prompts or triggers--word prompts, details in other stories, and so on
  • In line with some of Dustin's other items, an opening that catches me
  • A title for a story that crossed my mind, but for which I don't yet have a story
  • Ideas that showed up in stories that I wrote that didn't work
  • Elaborating on the implications of flash-fiction

 

My three highest entries came from these--the Finalist was both a thing that struck me in the shower and, broadly at least, expanded flash-fiction, and my SHM stories (3x SHM from two stories) were respectively, first, a detail in a story I read that got me thinking down a completely different path, and secondly, a single-word prompt and, again, expanded flash fiction.

(Addendum, from Q2.V38, since it's so close after this post was made: from the above, my third SHM story fits the pattern of title for which I didn't yet have a story. The title, in this case, was the seed for the idea that the story eventually became.)

Also, my sole second-round submission to F&SF, which was also an HM in the Contest twice, came from a title I'd written down while I was sleepy--then, when I read it later, I couldn't remember what the story was that I'd been thinking of at the time, but it set me thinking about a completely different story. 

Ideas just seem to come from anywhere and everywhere, really. I find far more ideas when I'm writing, though--partly because I find ideas in the things I'm writing and abandoning, but also because while I'm in that writing frame of mind, it seems that I latch onto new ideas more readily. A simple idea that comes to mind quickly seems to bind itself to details, phrases, and a visualization of the setting and place, in a way that it simply doesn't if I'm thinking about ideas in the abstract and not in that same frame of mind.

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 25, 2021 2:27 pm
DW and Erik liked
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361

I spent this evening tinkering with one of my Q4 prospect stories. This one has a very different tone and style to anything I've submitted before, and I'm quite keen to push it out for my Q4, to mix up my submissions a bit. 

Today's revisions made it almost 25% longer, which isn't always a good thing, but in this case I think the story was significantly lacking in the realm of emotional heft--it needed something extra to help it click, and I changed both one core relationship within the story to give it more weight, and the ending of the story to heighten its drama. It's the first major revision of the story, but I'm confident that this version of it is a fair improvement over the one that came before.

I'll need to give it another sweep through, though, as some of the language used in the changes definitely didn't quite strike home for me.

I'm now in the position of having three stories in some state of completion, plus two (or possibly three) story ideas sketched out roughly, all standing as potential prospects for my Q4 entry. This one's in the driving seat for now, mainly for the reason I mentioned above--but if I can get all of them into shape for submission, at least I won't be short of options for a while!  

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 26, 2021 11:11 pm
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113
Posted by: @doctorjest

I'm now in the position of having three stories in some state of completion, plus two (or possibly three) story ideas sketched out roughly, all standing as potential prospects for my Q4 entry.

  whoa  That... is definitely impressive, sir. clapper I have a story on the back burner because it's already been to all the markets that accept longer work, and I'm waiting to see if my latest short comes back from BCS or not. (I assume it will, despite the fact that it's sat there uncommonly long.) Those are the two Q4 options I'm currently debating between, but there's always the possibility another story will crop up.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : June 27, 2021 12:00 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 361
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @doctorjest

I'm now in the position of having three stories in some state of completion, plus two (or possibly three) story ideas sketched out roughly, all standing as potential prospects for my Q4 entry.

  whoa  That... is definitely impressive, sir. clapper I have a story on the back burner because it's already been to all the markets that accept longer work, and I'm waiting to see if my latest short comes back from BCS or not. (I assume it will, despite the fact that it's sat there uncommonly long.) Those are the two Q4 options I'm currently debating between, but there's always the possibility another story will crop up.

Of the three finished ones, two are revisions, which may be cheating. 😀 But they are very significant revisions to a prior HM/SHM pair, and I do like both of them, and think they've both improved from when I last entered them. Whether they've improved enough, of course...now, that would be the question!

(Also, in sheer coincidence, I also have a lingering short at BCS, a story that I expected to get kicked back much quicker than it has been...it's not one I considered in the mix for WotF though. I wrote it almost entirely as a warm-up to clear my mental decks before writing the story I subbed for Q3.)

R: 0 / HM: 8 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Currently in for Q3.V38 and Q4.V38 / Q1.V39 20% done on draft 1
Last result: SHM for Q2.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle
Revised HM ('The Winds of the Mind') forthcoming at Abyss and Apex, ~October 2023

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Posted : June 27, 2021 12:23 am
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 140

I keep getting false starts on my stories. Great opener, interesting premise, then halfway through I realize that a key aspect isn’t working, a character goes in a direction I didn’t expect, or the ending kind of fizzles. 

I’m sure this is part of the process for learning how to write better, but it’s frustrating to rewrite 50% of my story multiple times.

 

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: Submitted
V38 Q4: Submitted

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Posted : June 27, 2021 6:05 am
earthkeeper
(@earthkeeper78)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29
Posted by: @lost_bard

I keep getting false starts on my stories. Great opener, interesting premise, then halfway through I realize that a key aspect isn’t working, a character goes in a direction I didn’t expect, or the ending kind of fizzles. 

I’m sure this is part of the process for learning how to write better, but it’s frustrating to rewrite 50% of my story multiple times.

 

This happens to me with my characters all the time. I've got an idea on where I want the story to go, then suddenly a character goes "Fudge that, I'm going THIS way!" and just wanders off. I need to put some leashes in my mindscape or something.

"Trust is like a shop. Difficult to build, but surprisingly easy to ruin. But when it is strong and true, there are few things in this world that make you feel stronger."
V37: HM
V38: X,R,P

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Posted : June 27, 2021 9:17 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113
Posted by: @lost_bard

I keep getting false starts on my stories. Great opener, interesting premise, then halfway through I realize that a key aspect isn’t working, a character goes in a direction I didn’t expect, or the ending kind of fizzles. 

I’m sure this is part of the process for learning how to write better, but it’s frustrating to rewrite 50% of my story multiple times.

 

This happens to me all the time. My current finalist took me two years to write because I kept getting stuck on plot points, so I'd set it down for awhile and work on other projects until I figured out how to fix a thing. Some stories flow easier than others, but most of mine require some level of revision. I have written exactly one easy story out of 20+ (I don't keep an exact count), and it was magic, and I never expect that to happen again.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : June 27, 2021 9:50 am
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