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Political Fictions Contest Winners


Three weeks ago, we tasked seven writers—Mary Gaitskill, Adam Haslett, and Walter Kirn among them—with inventing scenes from the private lives of figures from the world of politics, from the commander-in-chief himself to Ashley Dupré (The Political Fictions Project,” November 30). We also asked readers to submit their own short stories starring politicians heroic or pathetic or both. (First prize was a weekend at the Mayflower Hotel, a place Eliot Spitzer is unlikely ever to set foot in again.) The entries were even more eclectic and fantastical than we’d anticipated. Almost all strived for humor, and a large number mixed genres with impressive abandon. In one story, Hillary Clinton, now a grandmotherly president, goes after a band of apocalyptic serial killers. In another, Alec Baldwin becomes mayor of New York. We had CIA operatives enlisting Bernie Madoff, and Bob Woodward revealing Obama’s secret plant hatred. Sarah Palin made many appearances, including one as a vampire determined to drill, baby, drill into Katie Couric’s jugular. But our winner (drumroll, please) is Dean Borok, whose “A Wall Street Christmas Carol!” stars “Tiny Tim Geithner” in what struck us as an appropriate little tale for this holiday. Second place goes to M. W. Donahue’s ““Rear Sunroom,” where Bill Clinton and his handlers toss tennis balls into the backyards of attractive neighbors. And the bronze goes to Matt Sullivan for “Dan Quayle Prepares His Comeback.” (It’s fiction. We promise.) You can read the five other finalists below.

• “Mayor Baldwin, Al Gore Face Down Orgasm Pandemic,” by Jon Methven
• “Hillary Clinton, Ten Years Into Retirement,” by Michael Abramson
• “Michael Jackson and Kim Jong-II,” by Robert Brenner
• “Ms. Rogers Neighborhood,” by Jeanette Mulvey
• “Bart and the Holy See,” by John Morgan


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