Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest - My Picks

So voting has ended in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest and all who entered (including myself) are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the top ten vote recipients, amongst whom the final winner will be chosen. I must say that I do not have much hope for my entry, "Henry and Maria", as Mansfield Park themed stories seem to be at an inevitable disadvantage (and mine was the only one!), but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless and am happy with my entry. I was highly impressed by the caliber of many of the entries, my previous experience of a contest of this sort, the tales selected to be featured in Dancing with Mr. Darcy, having proven rather disappointing (read my review here). Just because voting has ended does not mean we cannot still enjoy the many wonderful stories that were entered in the competition, and I thought I would share my favorite ten (listed in numerical order as opposed to preference) before the results were announced. They are:

75 - "What Would Eliza Do" by Sandra Bellock Listorti
An amusing account of Caroline Bingley's last ditch attempt to ensnare Mr. Darcy.

71 - "Mary Bennet's Story" by Kayse L. Vernon
Romance and adventure finds a most unsuspecting Mary.

65 - "Jane, Unexpected" by Carrie Pate
An ambitious woman finds her Mr. Darcy where she wasn't expecting it.

61 - "A Most Alarming Letter" by Sheridan Rose
Highly humorous account of a series of disasters that bring Elizabeth and Darcy to an understanding at Rosings.

56 - "The Love Letter" by Brenna Aubrey
An unsuspecting man rediscovers his true love thanks to Jane Austen.

55 - "A Husband for Miss Margaret" by Alysia Mathews
Margaret Dashwood makes a most advantageous match.

44 - "Mary" by Sarah Grace Kuhlman
An epistolary tale of a deserving young lady finding love despite financial and social obstacles.

36 - "The Girls of Netherfield Park" by Marybeth Ihle
Moving diary of an orphan girl weathering WWII with the help of Jane Austen.

23 - "Carpe Diem" by Jane Greensmith
Told from Lucy Steele's perspective, a sympathetic account of her engagement to Edward Ferrars

07 - "Lifeline" by RachelP
How an unfortunate accident could have brought Elizabeth and Darcy together after the Netherfield Ball.

Many more of the stories are quite excellent (there were very few I did not enjoy), but these are the ones that made the most lasting impression on me. You can still read them all at Pemberley.com, and I urge you to do so. This contest has been a treasure trove for the JAFF fan.


  1. Hi Alexa. What a smart idea to post your own top ten for the contest. Wish I'd thought of it! It was an amazing opportunity, wasn't it? I'm honored that you liked my story (The Love Letter). I did read and like yours as well. I agree that there weren't very many MP homages (just yours and Cindy Jones). I just couldn't get over the variety of the ideas involved--time travel, science fiction, crossovers, variations, modern-day spins, etc. Miss Austen's memory has certainly been a fertile muse.
    Best wishes to you!

  2. Hi Bren, and thanks! There was an amazing variety, and I am very glad I did decide to make this list, as it gave me the opportunity to honor those stories I particularly enjoyed, like yours!

  3. I just wanted to say thank you for including my story ("The Girls of Netherfield Park") in your list. I also wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed "Henry and Maria." I actually voted for it; it was so nice to see "Mansfield Park" represented, and I loved how you neatly plotted Maria's downfall. Your dialogue was great too.

  4. Hi Marybeth. I thought your story was wonderful. Thank you so much for writing it, as well as for the vote! I think many of the best stories were, unfortunately, overlooked.