The time has come to announce the winners of Apex Magazine's Steal the Spotlight micro fiction contest.

But first some fun facts.

We announced the contest and opened submissions on September 1st, accepting entries until October 15th, giving you all a month and a half to write up and send in your best micro fiction. In that time period we received and read 1,410 entries! Yeah! Seriously, you guys rocked this contest!

To give you a little perspective, when we ran our Christmas themed micro fiction contest last year, we received just over 500 entries and were floored by the response. To say we were surprised to get nearly three times that many for the Steal the Spotlight contest is an understatement. Astonished and thrilled, with a side of slightly overwhelmed, would be more accurate.

The Black Dog/Hellhound category wins the title of most entries with an even 300 submitted stories. This surprised me because the Demon category had been in the lead right up until the end, ending up with 297 entries. Banshees came in third with 284, Sea Monsters with 266, and Science Experiments Gone Wrong with 264. As you can see they were all pretty close. I'm sure some of you are thinking that of course they were because nearly everyone wrote an entry for all five categories. While we did have several people who wrote for all the categories, I wouldn't say the majority. In fact, two of our winners only submitted one story a piece.

So who are our winners, anyway?

Jessica Walsh won Sea Monsters with "Whispering Waters."

Robin Wyatt Dunn won Banshees with "Stone Woman."

M. J. Starling won Black Dog/Hellhounds with "When a Crossroads is in a Corner."

Loreen Heneghan won Science Experiments Gone Wrong with "The Fitzpatrick Solution."

Christine Purcell won Demons with "Guided Breathing Exercises."

A big congratulations to our winners. You can read their stories in Apex Magazine Issue 66, which comes out this coming Tuesday.

I also want to thank all of you who wrote stories and sent them in for Jason and I to read. You sent in some truly amazing entries and we're so happy you all participated.