My short story took the Grand Prize in Short Fiction Break’s Winter Writing Contest! I am blown away. Thank you, judges. Thank you, readers. Thank you, people of planet Earth (I’m feeling generous right now). And especially, thank you Write Practice and Short Fiction Break for hosting the contest.

Check it out!

From the judges:

““The Appointment” by Erin Halden. This poignant tale masterfully blends reality and imagination, painting a world of color and light. It takes us along a magical journey to a bittersweet resolution. Its full emotional experience, strong writing, and well-developed characters won the judges over, and we’re pleased to declare it the winner of this contest.”



  1. Dear Erin Halden
    The Appointment is a truly marvelous story that has touched my heart. A tale that doesn’t let the lump in your throat escape unnoticed, no wonder the judges unanimously chose it as the winning entry. I wish to convey my heartfelt appreciation for this great piece of storytelling. Your writing style is sincere and has all the depth of true universal human emotions. I just want to know if this is purely a work of imagination or has any bearing on any real life incident. I am Mayuresh Belsare from India and love writing too.
    This story is simply Awesome.


    1. Hello Mayuresh,
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts! To know that a story I wrote touched someone on the other side of the world is truly amazing and humbling. To your question, this story is largely a work of imagination. I did drive my grandmother to her chemotherapy appointment once many years ago, when I was just a teenager, and the overpowering emotions that came with sitting in a car next someone facing down death has never left me. I drew on those uncomfortable emotions as I sat down to write this story, which is not at all about my grandmother but, for me, is about the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood, a time when the world seems to lose its magic and turn cold and indifferent. But if we can somehow hold on to that piece of us that believes in magic, we will never be truly lost in life. So, like any writer, I mine my own emotional experiences to help me understand what my character is thinking and feeling, even though my character’s story is not my own. I hope this answers your question. Thank you again for taking the time to read and to leave a comment! You made my day!


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