I am ready to volunteerA few minutes back, I posted a congratulatory message to the winners of the An extraordinary Christmas short story writing challenge. I then jumped to the contest thread, to read the winning stories, and was I disappointed.
As I skimmed through the first paragraph of the first story, I knew how it would end. It was a narration of what happened on Christmas eve, in 1914, during World War I. It is a famous tale, and an actual event, from history. While I don't expect the judges to have read the story, I think there must be a system in place to weed out copied ideas, especially in contests. In all fairness, in such contests, prizes should be given to only original stories. It is disappointing to come across such instances repeatedly.
I had read the story in a book on war stories and also in a volume of Chicken Soup books. It has also been published in the Reader's Digest. I have read different versions of the story, but the core of the story is the same. I used the keywords 'silent night german singing in war story' and links to the story popped up. It is not impossible to check entries for originality. I volunteer to help in case the editorial team finds it difficult to detect content that shouldn't be allowed.