My short story "Once More With Feeling" is a finalist in the Texas Writers Journal.
All the finalists get put into a bound paperback and ebook versions of the journal every quarter for readers to enjoy and vote on. (The book has a score sheet and even a comments sheet to track what you've read!) Readers vote on the short stories at the site and the info is compiled to pick the winners for the year.
All the info on the contest and prices can be found on their Submissions page.
Anyway - here's a snippet of "Once More With Feeling":
People walked up and down the sidewalk at the end of the quad, many talking to others who weren't there, their cell phones connecting them with those miles, states, or even countries away - all of them wrapped in their own importance, their own imaginary kingdoms, never quite aware of what was really around them.
They only desired what made sense to them, whatever helped make their safe little pockets of reality continue to exist. Normal was a lot rarer than anyone thought. But she'd learned they all liked to think they were. They liked to believe they were masters of their world, of their lives and destinies, never actually understanding how easily it could all be taken away - sometimes on a whim. Perhaps hers.
Kayla walked on to the crowded sidewalk a shark in fish rich waters. They swam past her in blissful ignorance, not deigning to understand the possibility of the danger in their midst. It was empowering. Kayla joined the heedless throng and headed north.
A rare tingle of anticipation sparked as her heels clipped along the concrete walkway in the sea of strangers. Today wouldn't be like other days. Today would see the fruition of several months' worth of planning. Today she would do something new.
You can even get a subscription to get a subscription for the trade or ebook versions to get cool Texas author stories. More info about all that and purchase links can be found here.