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New Deal Writing Competition 2019 Winners

4th Annual New Deal Writing Competition

The New Deal Writing Competition is a short story competition where the writer is asked to use a painting chosen by the staff of GVCA as inspiration for their short story.

This year’s painting is “Fountain, Central Park” by Jacques Zucker shown below:

The Fountain by Matt Cowan


The old man sits on the edge of the fountain. With his long spine stooped over, his bald head and hooked nose, he looks like a giant bird. He feeds the remains of his sandwich to the insatiable, innumerable pigeons, as is his habit.

He comes here every day at the same time. Always brings the same snack, always sits in the same place. Always eats alone.

When there are no more crumbs left, he stands up, rubs his hands together, and leaves without a word.”

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I Have Been… by Ramona Scarborough


“I almost threw the picture of the fountain away. The colors were fading, drab, leeched of emotion, save for a dab of red here and there. A white building stood out against the murky background. The paint on the frame had flaked to reveal aged wood beneath. An indistinct signature on the right-hand side prevented me from tossing it into the rubbish bin.

        I didn’t figure out the connection between the picture and my great-aunt Lenore until much later.

Lenore used to say to me she was a “have been.” As in “Darling, I have been an opera singer, an actress, a grand entertainer of those who love the arts, and I have been on the stage in eight countries.””

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Angel of the Waters by Sarah Evans

Ben’s phone buzzes. He’s been waiting for this text from his brother all evening, but now it’s here, he’s reluctant to read it. He swigs the last of his wine. Around him, the restaurant buzzes with noise, laughter and the clatter of cutlery. Waiters weave like dancers between tables, performing improbable balancing acts. Nate is coming his way, returning from the gents, and Ben needs to get this over with before he arrives back.

        He presses to read, rereads the text a second time, and closes down his phone. Nate looks at him quizzically as he retakes his seat and though Ben should tell him, he doesn’t want to, not yet. He does not want Nate’s view – hot and indignant – to colour his own, needs to live with his private hurt a little while, ahead of sharing it. ” 

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*page includes another painting of this fountain by Zucker.

Read more about the artist of the fountain in this painting.