Summer 2016 Fiction Award: Why We Picked “Suddenly On Air”


Today, we have the pleasure of announcing the winner of our first-ever fiction contest. For weeks our team of sparkling and voracious readers sorted through almost one hundred submissions. In the end, we selected “Suddenly on Air,” by Edward Raso.”Suddenly on Air” is a classic coming of age tale about a kid who starts work at the radio station where his jazz talk show idol, Teddy Roe, DJ’s. With its nonchalance and playful tone, the voice in “Suddenly On Air” immediately pulls in the reader.

The story features a seventeen-year-old, in that hazy space between high school and college, who tells us he needs a job to afford textbooks. We’ve all stood at the start of the semester, totally unprepared for the shock at how much textbooks cost. Textbooks that might not even be read, that can be sold back at the end of the year, but only for a tiny fraction of the price you paid.

I digress – as this is not a story about textbook prices. It is a story about one adolescent’s journey to find himself. What those textbooks represent is the relatability that can be found in the actions and circumstances of this short story. There were moments of giggles, with the distinction that “it was the early nineties, when majoring in communications was still a somewhat viable thing to do,” and the description that “Wolfe looked at my hand as if I were holding a turd.” There were moments of mystery to go with the clever, quick inner monologue of the unnamed narrator – a sort of everyteen — who is searching to find his own voice.

Quietly weaved through the fraction of a lifetime that we spend with this young man, “Suddenly On Air” ends with a world of options that reminds us how very rarely people find themselves before spending time marinading in their inspirations, solidifying their philosophies on life, and garnering the kind of experience that only years can proffer.

Read it, enjoy it. If you feel like joining Edward in the sure-to-be stellar list of writers part of our new and burgeoning Causeway family, submit to our Fall 2016 Fiction Contest which opened this Sunday, September 25th.

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