2017 Writing Contest Winners

WinnersHere are the 2017 OWC Contest Award Winners!

Awards for All Categories

1st place: $200 and invitation to read at Awards Gala
2nd place: $100 and invitation to read at Awards Gala
3rd place: $50 and invitation to read at Awards Gala
First Honorable Mention: Certificate of Achievement and recognition at Awards Gala
Honorable Mention: (maximum of three) Certificate of Achievement and recognition at Awards Gala

Nonfiction Story, First Chapter

1st place, Ruby Hansen Murray, “When Oil is Blood”
2nd place, Melinda J. Combs, “My Father’s Tracks”
3rd place, Samantha Ducloux Waltz, “Undertow”
1st honorable mention, Don Messerschmidt, “A Family Story”

Honorable mentions, alphabetical:

  • Karen Gershowitz, “The Inauspicious Beginnings of a Travel Junkie”
  • Karen Hefner, “It Came in Silence”

Final judge Ali Shaw writes about her 1st-place pick:

“When Oil Is Blood” does a masterful job of introducing us to a deep history — both painful and beautiful — of an area and a people. Meanwhile, a present-day plotline is unfolding: an author come home, a woman who takes risks, a voice to tell the truth of what was, what is, and maybe even what might have been. Folded within all this are magnificent turns of phrase that showcase the author’s skill.

Nonfiction, Short Story

1st place, Miah Jeffra,, “Coffee Spilled”
2nd place, Margie Nairn, “Nine Weeks”
3rd place, Dian Hilliard, “Downsizing Grief”
1st honorable mention, Sami Scripter, “The Everetts Move to Oregon”

Honorable mentions, alphabetical:

  • Valerie Lake, “Accra”
  • Samantha Ducloux Waltz, “Becoming a Handywoman”
  • Samantha Ducloux Waltz, “Changing the World”

Final judge David Oates writes about his 1st-place pick:

Through the “small aperture” of a single moment in a public place, the narrator witnesses — or intuits — a novel’s worth of emotion, relation, complication, and consequence. It’s a performance of almost unnerving certainty, reading more than can be known into the lives of others. Yet how convincingly! This story occupies some odd edge of nonfiction where the narrator’s personal presence is not disclosed, only implied through insights and descriptions. It’s a tricky move, carried off with bravura. Only in the last line does the first person arise, and then only in the collective “us,” embedded in a cloud of questions about just what these humans and their lives could mean, these intersections of accident and pain, goodwill and anger.

Fiction, First Chapter

1st place, Bill Cameron, “Crossroad”
2nd place, Rosanne Parry, “Last of the Name”
3rd place: Patsy Ruth Lally, “Broken Angel”
First honorable mention, Anne Belen, “Sentient”

Honorable mentions, alphabetical:

  • Maryka Biaggio, “Margery and Me”
  • Jill Elliott, “Katherine Nadia”
  • David Gardner, “The Journalist”

Fiction, Short Story

1st place, Libby Cudmore, “The Nightfly”
2nd place, Louise Ells, “Grafting”
3rd place, Gail Bartley, “Mourning Becomes Her”
First honorable mention: Marilyn McFarlane, “Jack’s Mother’s Diary”

Honorable mentions, alphabetical:

  • Harry Demarest, “No Smoke From the Chimney”
  • Thomas Snethen, “Strikeout”

Final judge David Levine writes about his 1st-place pick:

“The Nightfly” is a tightly written portrait of an intriguing character who finds herself a point of stillness in a world going mad. It’s very much a story of this time and place in history, and it manages to capture both the uncertainty and the hope of the current moment. The ending is perfectly poignant.

Plan to attend the Gala Awards Ceremont for Writing Contest winners, Saturday, February 17, 2-4 p.m. at TaborSpace Dining room, 5441 Belmont, Portland.

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