Present Tense: Five short stories and the 10th Annual Piccolo Fiction Open

Image by in the courtyard next to Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street

"The size of the waist of him, she thinks. A hippopotamus would be embarrassed. And him out on that old bicycle of his. In the rain." - from Presently, the Tension Drains by Heather Magruder

Each year, the Piccolo Fiction Open suggests a theme to writers to interpret however they like, to their best literary ability. After House, Voice, Right, and One Hundred Dollars, eventually came 'Present Tense' for the 10th annual competition. Nearly 150 stories tackled all the variations, from the grammatical take to the stressed out translation.

On Saturday, June 5th at Blue Bicycle Books in downtown Charleston, the authors will read their winning stories, free to the public, at a reception with music by Dana Downs & Mary Edna Fraser, and food & wine from CWG Catering.

The following stories will be read at Blue Bicycle Books' 420 King Street spot starting at 5pm:

'This Story Takes Place on a Ship' by Carmen Bush, who is returning to Charleston from California for the event.

'Five Finger Discount' by Susanna Glattly, who lives in Beaufort and is a past PFO winner.

'Presently the Tension Drains' by Heather Magruder, who lives and works as a teaching artists in the upstate and is also a past winner.

'Cedar Waxwing' by Emily Wood, a bicycling editor-painter in Clemson.

'Music Appreciation, a Correspondence Course' by Foster Osborne, the not-token male and resident of Columbia.