Winning story

Adam Cook’s short story “Legacy” won the Chattanooga Pulse’s 10th annual Short Story Contest on June 6.

The contest, which takes place each summer, tasks local writers with crafting a short story of 500 words or less in any style. The submissions are then evaluated by a panel of judges who select the top three finalists to be published.

Cook’s story, “Legacy,” was published as the 2019 winner in the Chattanooga Pulse’s June 6 edition.

“It was pretty exciting when I was notified that I had won, and then it’s pretty rewarding to see the story online and in print as well,” Cook said.

This year’s win was Cook’s third entry into the contest after placing second in 2017 and third in 2018.

“It was cool to finally win the whole thing. I finished second that first year I entered, and then regressed to a third-place finish last year, so I’m glad I was able to get it together this summer,” Cook joked.

According to Cook, the “500 words or less” format offers a unique challenge to entrants.

“It’s different for sure. It forces you to be strategic and efficient with your words, all while still trying to create an entertaining, meaningful story,” Cook said. “I had never attempted a short story before that first entry, but I’ve really grown to love that style a lot and I’m excited to work on more things like that.

Before the short stories, most of Cook’s writing accolades had come as a playwright, having had his full-length play “The Storm” produced at The Ringgold Playhouse in 2016, followed by two of his one-act plays — “Scar’d for Life” and “Glimpses” produced at Dalton Little Theatre in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

In addition to writing creatively, Cook has garnered multiple first-place awards in Hard News Writing from the Georgia Press Association during his 10 years as a journalist for The Catoosa County News.

“I just love storytelling,” Cook said. “Whether it’s journalism or my own stuff, I’ve been writing in one style or another since I was a kid and I’m sure I’ll always continue to do so.”

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