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2012 Short Story and Poetry Contest Winners

Judges Gina Oschner and Sue Parman have announced the winners of the 2012 Oregon Writers Colony annual writing contests. First-place winners through honorable mentions are invited to read an excerpt at the awards program.

Short Story Fiction

1st place

Patricia Barnhart, Lakeview, Oregon, Ellen Gregory

Gina Oschner’s note: “When I read ‘Ellen Gregory’ I knew I was in the confidant hands of a talented storyteller. The writing is clean, precise, imaginative, and it leaps off the page.”

2nd place

Shirley Dixon, Portland, Oregon, A Different Calling

Gina Oschner’s note: “Voice thrums behind A Different Calling, pulling the reader forward into a world we could not inhabit if not for the care and attention to description and detail afforded in the story”

3rd place

Diane Manley, Eugene, Oregon, The Favorite

First Honorable Mention

Harry Demarest, Corvallis, Oregon, Johnny Angel

Other Honorable Mentions (alphabetical by author)

Darlene Buechel, Chilton, Wisconsin, Six Rules for Surviving a Stepdad

Patricia MacAodha, Portland, Oregon, The Witch with the Backpack

John J. White, Merritt Island, Florida, Beneath the Wintry Sky

Judges Panel “Entries of Note” (alphabetical by author)

(These made it into the top ten lists of at least three judges, or high on the list of at least one judge.)

Patricia Barnhart, Lakeview, Oregon, Piece by Piece

Valerie Lake, Corvallis, Oregon, Jose’s Boots

Diane Miller, Sweethome, Oregon, The Struggle to Lose It

Chet Skibinski, Lake Oswego, Oregon, The Prince and his Tunnels

Patricia A. Smith, Corvallis, Oregon, Birthday Surprise

Short Story Nonfiction

1st place

Morgan Songi, Eugene, Oregon, Spirit Nights

Gina Oschner’s note: “In Spirit Nights the writer thoughtfully weaves an examination of past and present, memory and absence. The author skillfully architects exposition, summary, and scene to create a blended narration that reads in some places like poetry.”

2nd place

Donelle Knudsen, Richland, Washington, Ashes to Ashes and the Spirit of Forgiveness

3rd place

Cheryl Sears, Portland, Oregon, Prejudice Revisited

Gina Oschner’s note: “Both Ashes to Ashes and Prejudice Revisited struck me as being authentic and candid journeys through painful territory. Both authors explore through well-crafted scene and thoughtful narration their struggles in accepting some form of loss as well as the recognition that to be human is to be flawed in some manner”

First Honorable Mention

Leland Spencer, Monument, Oregon, Junkpile Go-Cart

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical by author)

Valerie Lake, Corvallis, Oregon, Invasive Species

Genny Lynch, Lebanon, Oregon, Kissing Lessons

Jean Peterson, Nehalem, Oregon, Border Banditos

Judges Panel “Entries of Note” (alphabetical by author)

(These made it into the top ten lists of at least three judges, or high on the list of at least one judge.)

Judith B. Allen, Manzanita, Oregon, Twenty Questions

Donelle Knudsen, Richland, Washington, Desert Rose or a Blooming Miracle

Rick Lamplugh, Corvallis, Oregon, Mystery at Trout Lake

Laura Loomis, Pittsburg, California, Ghost House

Elizabeth Bolton Poetry Contest

1st place

Barb McMakin, Crestwood, Kentucky, Familiar Skeletons

2nd place

Morgan Azinger, Portland, Oregon, Indescribable Things

3rd place

Karen Keltz, Tillamook, Oregon, Miasma

First Honorable Mention

Eileen Malone, Broadmoor Village, California, Whale Watching Guy

Other Honorable Mentions (alphabetical by author)

Morgan Azinger, Portland, Oregon, American Apocalypse

Ellanaine Lockie, California, Just Desserts

Morgan Songi, Eugene, Oregon, Weeds

Poetry judge Parman commented, “I’ve just finished my fifth perusal of these wonderful poems, long enough for some to drift to the top and others to the bottom. Many of the poems entered in the contest were full of pain and sharp experience; many were good stories (I’m a sucker for a good story), but when I had to choose between an explicit story told with only the barest gesture toward the poetic medium versus a tightly knit poem containing the hinted ghost of a story, I went for the ghost versus the explicitly told tale. Also, all things being roughly equal, a good title can make a difference.”