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After a hiatus last year, we’re proud to announce City Paper’s fourth (annual-ish) Fiction Issue, to be published Jan. 5, 2017. We’re looking for stellar, unpublished short fiction from local writers—about the District. And we have good news for aspiring scribes who want to get their work in front of a pro: Submissions will be juried by D.C. resident and award-winning writer Mary Kay Zuravleff, whose latest novel Man Alive! was a 2013 Washington Post Notable Book. Zuravleff is a 2017 DC Artist Fellow and board member of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She is also the author of numerous short stories and two other novels, The Bowl Is Already Broken and The Frequency of Souls, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Her work has won the American Academy’s Rosenthal Award, the James Jones First Novel Award, and was nominated for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

We will publish the top three entries—possibly more—and award a $500 prize to the winner. Second- and third-place finalists will receive swag bags chock full of all manner of City Paper paraphernalia and movie tickets. Because who doesn’t need another T-shirt and USB stick? Please send submissions of no longer than 1,000 words, along with a short bio, to editor@washingtoncitypaper.com by Dec. 1, and include “Fiction Issue” in the subject line. Stories will be sent to our judge, absent any identifying information about the writer. We look forward to being surprised, entertained, and dazzled. 

Reaction to last week’s cover story about sleazy cabbie Hamed Abawi, who preyed on vulnerable drunk women and for years walked what he called “a fine line” “between rape and fun,” drew shared outrage from readers. “This is a fucking horrible human,” Ryan Sims (@ryangsims) wrote on Twitter. “OMG, this story is horrifying, especially if you’re a woman who rides cabs by herself in DC,” Aaron Rupar(@atrupar) wrote. And some of the venom was directed at City Paper too. “If the intention of the piece was to highlight Abawi’s ‘nauseating’ behavior,” Ponta Abadi wrote, “then I think it’s a poor decision to wait until paragraph 19 to mention consent at all.” Meanwhile, based on City Paper’s reporting, D.C.’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles has asked the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate Abawi.