Gail Sobotkin and Terri Clifton have the “write” stuff when it comes to storytelling.

Gail Sobotkin and Terri Clifton have the “write” stuff when it comes to storytelling.

The evidence is the new book “Beach Days,” featuring fictitious tales from the two Milford authors.

“Beach Days,” the third installment in the Rehoboth Beach Reads Series, offers 24 short tales covering a range of genres, including romance, mystery and humor. The common thread in each is a beach theme.

The anthology’s launch party will be Nov. 21 at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach. The book is currently available at Browseabout Books and

Sobotkin is honored to have her romance story, “Synchronicity,” included.

“It feels great. I’m loving it,” she said.

Clifton and Sobotkin’s stories were reviewed by six judges and chosen out of more than 100 submissions by authors in the tri-state area.

Clifton said getting her “Time in the Sun” published verified that she’s handy with a pen.

“It’s always good to know you’re not a fluke,” said Clifton, who was awarded a 2013 Delaware Division of the Arts fellowship as an emerging fiction writer.

“It shows that you’ve got credibility as a writer when other professionals review it,” she said.

“Beach Days” is published by Cat & Mouse Press, an independent company in Lewes. Nancy Sakaduski, owner of Cat & Mouse, was taken aback by this year’s stories.

“I’m always surprised at the diversity of the entries,” Sakaduski said. “They are very clever in how they interpret the theme, and very clever in writing the stories themselves.”

‘Time in the Sun’

“Time in the Sun” tells of an unhappy elderly person watching a young family enjoying a day at the beach. The story is a reminder of how good and bad can coexist simultaneously. It also encourages people to be compassionate to one another.

“I could be having a great day and someone else could be having the worst day of their life,” she said.

“We don’t often consider what’s going on with other people, and we run things through our filter and it often tends to be judgmental.”


Sobotkin’s tale is about an elderly widow who has a chance encounter with one of her old flames on the beach, a veteran who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

She chose the title for her story because synchronicity, as she described it, is “when [something] seems like it was a coincidence, but it was meant to be.”

Her tale was inspired by her husband, a vet, who she’s been married to for 41 years.

“This story is fiction, but it’s like my husband was in my mind when I wrote this story, because I fell madly in love with him when were both young and idealistic,” she said.

After failing to get her work published in the first two Beach Reads anthologies, Sobotkin never gave up. Her third submission has become the charm.

“I took it like, ‘I couldn’t get it in this year. But I’m going to try to get better,”‘ she said. “So I put more action in it, and more dialogue.”

How it works

The 24 stories were first submitted through the annual Rehoboth Beach Short Story Contest, which ended over the summer.

The main criteria that the six judges used to evaluate stories was based on creativity, if the story fits with the beach theme and on the quality of writing, Sakaduski said.

Also, stories were to be suitable as a beach read – which generally means the tales are entertaining to read and lighthearted. But every story doesn’t have to be light, Sakaduski said.

Cash prizes went to the top three picks. Additionally, each judge awarded a story they personally enjoyed that didn’t finish in the top three.

Sakaduski, who didn't participate in the judging process, awarded a story she enjoyed that wasn't recognized by the judges, nor finished in the top three.


WHAT ‘Beach Days’ launch party

WHEN 2 p.m., Nov. 21

WHERE Browseabout Books, 133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach

INFO Visit or call 226-2665