“Faces in the Mirror” features faces from Osceola


Jess Zsiga

Madison Palmer and Danielle Benson were among eight finalists who were a part of the Stanley Shalit Largo Library Short Story Contest.

Brianna Patenaude, Writer

“Faces in the Mirror” is the theme of this year’s Stanley Shalit Largo Library Short Story Contest. Entrants had to write a story that centered around the theme while adhering to certain guidelines, from number of pages to typing it double spaced with margins justified. Among the eight finalists that were selected out of hundreds of submissions, two were from Osceola–freshman Madison Palmer and sophomore Danielle Benson. The pair were honored along with the other six finalists in a ceremony at the Largo Library on Monday, April 18th.

“I was excited and I was really surprised,” said Madison Palmer, who placed third in the competition. Her story “Silence” got her the nomination, which was about a “troubled young woman who is sent to Scotland to live with a strange relative”.

“I kind of just came up with the idea when I heard about the theme of a mirror,” Palmer said. “I pictured a mirror in an old house. Song lyrics kind of inspired the ending.” Palmer cited “Migraine” by Twenty One Pilots as an inspiration for the story’s conclusion.

When asked how she came up with the idea for her story, Danielle Benson said she wasn’t sure. “I read a lot of Stephen King before I wrote it because it was my first delve into horror. I wanted to do it right. I wanted to write something different from a mirror, so I thought of a lake.”

Benson received an honorable mention for “No Reflection,” a story about “two girls who travel to a lodge near Mirror Lake, a body of water that terrifies the locals”. Benson did feel a bit let down by her ranking in the competition this year, because she was a veteran of the contest.

“I was very disappointed in myself because I went down in placing. I got third place the year before,” Benson said. However, Benson was proud of her peer Palmer for achieving such a high honor and was still grateful to have been selected in the competition.