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 2016 Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition - WINNERS
(HM = Honorable Mention)

Download a printable PDF file for 2016 winners (right click to save to desktop; click to open in new window)

Download a PDF file complete with judging comments for 2016 winners

1st Place - Morgan Baylog Finn, New Hartford, CT – "To Mother, Age 76, As She Considers Sky-Diving – Delightful and insightful, this free verse provides a story in moving pictures that uplift.

2nd Place - Sally Clark, Fredericksburg, TX – "Crop Rotation" – With fresh phrasing and strong visuals, this free verse poem will speak to most readers – and all of us who have had to adapt to changing lifestyles.

3rd Place - Olivia Norem, Tampa, FL – "Televised Side Effects" – Readers will not only identify with this humorous social commentary, they've most likely lived it.

1st HM - Louise Moses, Indian Rocks Beach, FL – "Chocolate Tastes Better in Paris" – Humor, sensual phrasing, and imagery pour into this delectable free verse.

2nd HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "The Old Depot" – True to form, this sonnet evokes emotion and a clear scene from the past before ending on a strong note.

3rd HM - Catherine Moran, Little Rock, AR – "Stranded" – The sign in this Shakespearian sonnet depicts a poignant sign of our times.

4th HM - Sally Clark, Fredericksburg, TX – "Barking and Clawing Against a Sensible Leash" – This story in free verse has a conversational tone, situations people can identify with, and insightful phrasing.

5th HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "Music of the Pipes" – As the title indicates, this sonnet has musicality and also visual appeal.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "Messiah"
Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "Ghostly Ship"

MOST PROMISING (will receive a critique)
Sally Clark, Fredericksburg, TX – "How to Make it Rain" – This free verse has strong reader identification and humor to deal with a common frustration.

1st Place - Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "Let's Give Djokovic Some Love" (article) – There's a good reason why this writer has been singled out before (the judge recognizes the style from previous years). His (or her) stories are well written and creative with excellent active verbs and adjectives. The stories flow well, and each transition is smoothly done. Strong lead sentences/paragraph draw the reader into the story. Good job.

2nd Place - Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – ""Surprises, Demises, and Reprises at the US Open" (article) – See #1 comments.

3rd Place - Scott Hubbartt, Schertz, TX – "The Mail Run" (article) – Overall, this was a good story and with a needed edit and rewrite, it could be a very good story.

HM - Alessandra Bianchi, Marblehead, MA – "Creature Comforts: To Please Spouse, Be Catty" (article) – While needing editing, a rewrite and re-formatting, the submission was cleverly written. The writer shows promise.

MOST PROMISING (will receive a critique)
Joyce Lapin, Simsbury, CT – "If You Could Ride on an Asteroid..." (children's picture book)  This children's nonfiction book displays a good premise but is in need of being more concise and edited. More to come in a short critique.

1st Place - Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, PR – "Wind at My Back," Chapter One (novel) – This novel shows promise for publication, judging by the outstanding delivery of chapter one. Characters are well formed. Their dialogue is crisp, relevant and to the point, carrying the plot forward with ease and sensibility. The author has given careful thought to plotting, structure, clarity and word choices. The reader is eager to read more. Good job!

2nd Place - Randi Lynn Mrvos, Lexington, KY – "Rosie and the Absolutely, Positively Extraordinary Day (children's picture book story) – What a clever, fun and well-written children's picture book story. It's easy to visualize what illustrations could accompany this imaginative story, which could easily make publication.

3rd Place - Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "The No-No's Say Yes" (children's story) – It was a tough choice between #2 and #3, as "The No-No's Say Yes" is also cleverly written. This will make a fun children's book, while it also has a creative way to send a subtle and positive message to kids. Worthy of being published.

1st HM - Jeff Boyle, Ormond Beach, FL – "Twenty-Two" (short story) – Needing some fine tuning, this is a powerful and well-written short story. Projects a punch.

2nd HM - Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "One Last Time" (short story) – This short story shows promise, especially with a bit of editing. For example, the writer uses the word Abraham too frequently when the word "he" would suffice.

MOST PROMISING (will receive a critique)
Linda Newman, San Mateo, CA – "Coma" (mystery short story) – The storyline and characters are well done. The manuscript needs some tweaking. The judge will elaborate in a short critique.


2015 Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition - WINNERS
(HM = Honorable Mention)

Download a printable PDF file for 2015 winners (right click to save to desktop; click to open in new window)

1st Place - June Estep Fiorelli, Sarasota, FL – "Celebrating the Fourth," poem – In five quatrains, this poem gives an overview of American history appropriate for the age group with the use of effectively chosen rhymes to enhance reader interest.

2nd Place - Ingrid Silvian, Groveport, OH – "The Piano Tuner's Daughter," short story for 8- to 12-year-olds – The ordinariness of children at play gives readers a sense of being there as this memorable story unfolds in its World War II setting.

3rd Place - Barbara Beard, Pickering, Ontario – "Too Much Trouble," picture book for 4- to 8-year-old readers – Young children will identify with this lively story which has humor and an effective use of repetition.

1st HM - Julie Pavelich, North Royalton, OH – "Joy at the Fair," short story, K–grade 4 – This age-appropriate story centers on a common problem of overcoming fears then closes with a delightful, surprise ending.

2nd HM - June Estep Fiorelli, Sarasota, FL – "Dear Santa, All I Want…," poem, ages 4–8 – Humor, reader identification, and bouncy rhymes make this story poem stand out.

3rd HM - Juliana M. Jones, Daniels, WV – "The Final Segment," novel chapter, ages 8–12 – This well-written, age-appropriate story has credibility even though set in the future.

4th HM - Belva Green, Tarpon Springs, FL and Holmen, WI – "The Coat," short story – A fresh premise adds a new perspective to an old story children will want to revisit.

5th HM - Karen B. Kurtz, Fairhope, AL – "Sophia's Gift," picture book, ages 4–8 – Set in the Civil War, this story has very strong possibilities as a chapter book for children 8 to 10.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Theresa Gage, Auburn, WA – "Hooked," short story, 10-year-old readers

Randi Lynn Mrvos, Lexington, KY – "Totally, Completely, Perfectly Me," short story, ages 4–6

1st Place - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "The Lonely Beach," Shakespearean sonnet – The use of a traditional form kept a true-to-life story from sentimentality, yet its very conciseness enhanced its emotional impact. Besides staying true to form, the story is one with which most readers will readily identify.

2nd Place - Connie Golden, Duanesburg, NY – "Dolphin Beach after Sandy," free verse – These free verse lines revisit another beach, taking us there visually and showing us the resilience of people and nature.

3rd Place - Bruce L. Reynolds, Potomac, MD – "Reluctance," free verse – An interesting metaphor turns into a fresh analogy then ends on an unexpected note of humor in these tightly written lines.

1st HM - George Rhoades, Duncan, OK – "Don't Cry, Juanita," free verse – This interesting story has the visual and emotional appeal needed to draw readers.

2nd HM - Dorothy K. Fletcher, Jacksonville, FL – "Blessing the Cats," free verse - These lines paint a familiar scene from a fresh perspective, showing the effect our actions can have.

3rd HM - Carol Ann Castagna, North Port, FL – "Listen to the Quiet," free verse - Even the loveliest of scenes hints of tranquility, hard-won but waiting to be found.

4th HM - Patricia Callan, Newton, MA – "Razed: a Rondel," rondel - Making effective use of the repetition inherent in this traditional form, the poem tightly compresses a social concern into a fixed pattern that beautifully contains and confines what might otherwise be a rant!

5th HM - Nancy Burke, Evanston, IL – "Icons," free verse - An outstanding metaphor elevated this poem into an interesting story with strong reader identification.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Connie Golden, Duanesburg, NY – "View from the Train after Twenty Years," traditional quatrains

Leslie P. Groves, McPherson, KS – "When On That Wintry Morning," traditional quatrains

Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "The Ghost of Martha Linn," villanelle

Lisa L. Walker, Holland, MI – "Ordinary Holy," free verse

1st Place - Lily Beck, Asheville, NC – "Run With Me" – These sparse poetic lines evoke emotional impact with strong reader identification for anyone who has witnessed change.

2nd Place - Nancy Summersong, Frenchville, ME – "The Voices Of My Ancestors" – The changes addressed in this personal experience piece draw readers to a more natural lifestyle as the author's Native American family once experienced.

3rd Place - Laurie Glieco, Buffalo, NY – "Grandma's Groceries" – Again, changes take the reader from candle stubs to circuit breakers as the personal experience narrative recalls a simpler time.

1st HM - Alice Grant Bingner, Ann Arbor, MI – "Is Prehistoric Site in Peril?" – This essay focuses on the potential changes to an ancient landscape if the area opens wide to tourism.

2nd HM - Cindy Pontrelli, Green Cove Springs, FL – "Take A Dive Into History" – A scuba diving trip in the Pacific transports the author back in time to recount WWII events in the area.

3rd HM - Jane Lael, Chapel Hill, NC – "Psychic Surgeon" – This personal experience piece tells the interesting story of an unusual surgical encounter.

4th HM - Patricia Crandall, Petersburgh, NY – "A Witch-Link to Salem, Massachusetts" – Research enhanced, well-written account of the Pagan/Wiccan influences continuing in Salem today.

5th HM - Myrna Gordon Skurnick, Boca Raton, FL – "September 3, 1939" – In this essay, historical events affect the author and help readers to envision a crucial time in WWII.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Laurie Glieco, Buffalo, NY – "Permanent Quarters" (personal experience)

Bethanie Baker Henderson, Hatfield, PA – "Crawling through Parenthood" (personal experience)

Diann MacRae, Bothell, WA – "Chronicles Of The Jet Set" (essay on crows)

1st Place - Jeff Boyle, Ormond Beach, FL – Nam World, Chapter 1, "Nine Eleven" – Depth of characters, story action, and insightful narration mark the beginnings of this important novel.

2nd Place - Nancy Burke, Evanston, IL – Undergrowth, Chapter LVII – Gorgeous description based on keen observation make this work outstanding.

3rd Place - Heather Hamel, Elkton, FL – Western Promise, Chapter 1 – The historical setting, interesting characters, and touch of humor immediately draw readers into the story.

1st HM - Anne Nichols Reynolds, Lake Placid, FL – A Will of Her Own, Chapter One – The very first pages nicely set up the story people, setting, and unfolding plot.

2nd HM - Liz Marshall, Phoenix, AZ – Seeing Eye – A day at the fair, Chapter One, Nine of Swords, "The Vision" – The action and characters entice readers into this fresh story.

3rd HM - Jeff Boyle, Ormond Beach, FL – Nam World, Chapter 10, "VA Counseling" – The interesting situation in this well-written chapter stands on its own but enriches the whole book.

4th HM - Nancy Burke, Evanston, IL – Undergrowth, Chapter XIII – Credible characters, insights, and visual appeal enhance the story.

5th HM - Lucinda Waldron, Bell, FL – Mosquito County, Chapter 1 – The opening pages reveal the historical setting, introduce interesting characters, and hint at the plot to come.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Courtney Allen, Decatur, GA – Down From the Mountain, Prologue, Part One

Courtney Allen, Decatur, GA– Down From the Mountain, Chapter Five

Jeff Boyle, Ormond Beach, FL – Nam World, Chapter 34, "Bad Blood"

Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, PR– Evening Star, Chapter 30

Sandra Matuschka, Tiverton, RI – Anne, Chapter One

Carol J. Perry, Madeira Beach, FL – Hurricane Season, Chapter One

Anne Nichols Reynolds, Lake Placid, FL – Winter Harvest, Chapter One

Kate Ruland-Thorne, Grand Junction, CO – I Married Adventure: A Novel Based on the Memoir of a Palestinian Jew, "Two – Kilindini Harbor, Mombassa, Kenya, 1941"

1st Place - Jeff Boyle, Ormond Beach, FL – "Miss Piano" – The fresh plot, credible characters, and interesting setting gave a tightly written performance in this short story.

2nd  Place - Sallie Barr Palmer, Largo, FL – "The Cloak of Invisibility" – The dark humor in this well-written story had something important to say.

3rd  Place - Alicia Stankay, Ambridge, PA – "Blueberry Muffins" – Light humor in this story shows reality outdoing dreams.

1st  HM - Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "Come to the River," a parable – The opening page immediately draws readers into a story that has the feel of an ancient folktale.

2nd HM - Geraldine Bass, Olathe, KS – "Murder" – The unexpected humor and plot twist lighten the macabre into an amusing read.

3rd HM - K. A. McLaughlin, La Mesa, CA – "The Latch," a fantasy – This credible tale takes an inventive turn into another world.

4th HM - Alice Grant Bingner, Ann Arbor, MI – "In This Case, Wrong Is Right" – Clearing a misunderstanding creates an interesting story and just right end.

5th HM - Belva Green, Tarpon Springs, FL and Holmen, WI – "The Incident of the Naughty Noodles" – Creative way to rave: write a humorous story!

Sandy K. Jordan
, Neosho, MO – "The Mother's Legacy"

1st Place - Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "Beauty of Federer" – This tightly written article serves up an enticing view of tennis in general and Roger Federer in particular.

2nd Place - Linda Zajac, Vernon, CT – "Guardians of the Forest" – Science and technology come together with good fiction techniques as a drone surveys a tropical forest, looking for nests of orangutans.

3rd Place - Dorothy Pedersen, Orangeville, Ontario – "Three Diamond Sparrow" – Fright glides into flight on a well-written, personal experience piece.

1st HM - Alice Grant Bingner, Ann Arbor, MI – "Legally Blind Nun Leads Fated Invasion" – Who wouldn't love the true story of an 82-year-old nun still aiming to change the world!

2nd HM - Karen B. Kurtz, Fairhope, AL – "Comfort and Sanctuary: Dolls Along the Underground Railroad" – Well-researched facts enlighten readers about a dark period in history.

3rd HM - Linda Zajac, Vernon, CT – "Searching for Monkeys: A scientist journeys into the world of the golden lion tamarin" – An endangered species and an exotic setting generate interest in this nonfiction article.

4th HM - Anne Nichols Reynolds, Lake Placid, FL – "Surviving Hezekiah's Tunnel" – This modern-day personal experience takes readers through a rocky, unlit passage into biblical times.

5th HM - Jean Powis, Troy, NY – "She Dared to be Different" – From women's suffrage to undercover work in a rat-infested factory and a mental institution, the adventuresome story of Elizabeth Cochran aka Nellie Bly transports readers around the world of her times.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Alessandra Bianchi, Marblehead, MA – "Into the Backcountry...and Back" (skiing adventure)

Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "Why the Strike Zone Is So Important in Tennis"

Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "In a Spin" (tennis strokes and strategies)

Roberta Sandler, Lake Worth, FL – "First in Flight: Where Babe hit his first home run" (Fayetteville, NC)


2014 Writers-Editors Network International Writing Competition - WINNERS
(HM = Honorable Mention)

1st Place - Susan T. Davis, Poughkeepsie, NY – Quest for Freedom: The Story of Ebenezer Fletcher, book chapter, 7- to 12-year-olds – The first page quickly sketches the main character and situation, immediately drawing readers into the action of this tightly written story.

2nd Place - A. Gwynn Henderson, Lexington, KY – "Bone-y Secrets," nonfiction article, 9- to 12-year-olds – Everybody has bones! This universal appeal makes the subject interesting but especially to a bone-growing age group who will be drawn into reading by the friendly tone and get-to-the-point style.

3rd Place - Barbara Layman, Van Nuys, CA – "Day Dreamer and the Sleeping Giants," short story, 7- to 9-year-olds – Beginning with the action, this engaging story heightens reader-interest through its strong characters, natural setting and such poetic phrases as "when the moon dragged the shadows from the trees."

1st HM - Linda Zajac, Vernon, CT – "Monkey's Whispered Warning," nonfiction article, 9- to 14-year-olds – As the bibliography shows, this interesting article has been well-researched and well-written in a well-chosen form as a nonfiction article, rather than a picture book.

2nd HM - Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, PR – "Floating Piρatas," short story, 6- to 9-year-olds – The humor, easy-to-picture scenes, and interesting setting make this story fun to read.

3rd HM - Jane B. Rawlings, Bernardsville, NJ – "The Stable Guests," short story, 8- to 12-year-olds – Finding a new view of an old story can be difficult, but this plausible story within the Nativity scene helps readers to see themselves in the story too.

4th HM - Nancy Summersong Dellagrotta, Frenchville, ME – "Jesus Says," poem, 6- to 9-year-olds – These rhythmic, rhyming verses show hard-to-explain concepts in a way children can understand and relate.

5th HM - Lorna Foreman, Cornwall, ON – "Catie Caterpillar," short story, 4- to 6-year-olds – This story of a caterpillar's metamorphosis comes from the perspective of the wooly caterpillar herself, increasing a younger child's awareness of bugs and insects in a positive way.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Sally Bair, Washburn, WI – "Galoshes for Grandma," short story, 6- to 9-year-olds – Based on a true incident, the story moves through bad weather, danger, and disappointment into a credible ending.

Sally Bair, Washburn, WI – Williwaw Winds, chapter 6, novel, age 8 and up – A howling storm gets this chapter of an adventuresome tale off to a lively start.

Connie Espinoza, Somerset, TX – "Threads of Kindness," short story, middle grades - This easy-to-picture story interweaves Spanish words with their meanings made apparent by the setting and context.

Linda Zajac, Vernon, CT – The Black Gumdrop: A Book about Carbon, nonfiction picture book, 6- to 8-year-olds – If it were a nonfiction article, this might easily place with a magazine or textbook publisher looking for well-written manuscripts with a thorough bibliography.

Linda, Zajac, Vernon, CT – "The Two-Spotted Troublemaker," nonfiction article, 9- to 12-year-olds – The first page introduces the aquarium life of a two-spotted octopus – a kid-appealing subject made even more interesting by the sidebars and bibliography.

1st Place - Kate Eldredge, State College, PA – "Boomerang" – free verse – This 6-part poem pulls in readers with startling statements and fresh ways of expressing insights that eventually erupt from a fractured relationship.

2nd Place - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "Harbor Watch" – sonnet – From the first line, a reader can enter the experience and see the story unfold.

3rd Place - Katherine J. Leisering, Parkersburg,WV – "Verses Scribbl'd in My Burning House," parody in couplets – Amusing anachronisms arise from the ashes of the burnt words and house of Anne Bradstreet, the first female writer and first English-speaking poet in the Early American colonies, who could have saved both minutes and money with either Geico or Allstate.

1st HM - Connie Golden, Duanesburg, NY – "Closing the Porch" – free verse –  Poets often express the loss of a loved one, but these lines do this without ever saying so.

2nd HM - Carol T. Castagna, North Port, FL – "Night in Spring" – praise poem – Poets often express thanks to God, but this poem does so beautifully with "the moon wanting only to remain in this moment."

3rd HM - Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "Pentecost" – nonet – These nine lines begin with nine syllables descending into one, bringing readers into the experience and showing how a set form that allows only a few words can often be highly appealing.

4th HM - Connie Golden, Duanesburg, NY– "The Basement" – free verse – A personal experience becomes universal in this poem of dealing with loss.

5th HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "Phantom Footprints" – villanelle –  With effective use of the repetition required for this verse form, the well-written story draws readers into a life that didn't go as planned.

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Robert Clay Calhoun, El Dorado, KS – "Visitation" – sonnet with varying meter – Traditional verse addresses the traditional story of Mary visiting Elizabeth in a nontraditional way.

David Dillon, West Glover, VT – "Recycling Day" – free verse – Even the format of this poem emphasizes the contrast between cultural expectations and hard-won independence.

Barbara K. Lunow, Fort Mill, SC – "Quite Contrary" – free verse – Long and short lines separate regrets, aspirations, and a freshly stated "promise just beyond/ the corrugated."

1st Place - Barbara Layman, Van Nuys, CA – "Among Myth, Magic & Mortals" – You can almost feel the pixie dust gently floating down in this descriptive, well-written piece about the makings of Walt Disney's fairies' characters. The story flows beautifully with excellent and creative word choices.

2nd Place - Nancy Crochiere, Amesbury, MA – "I'll Never Lube This Way Again" – The author of this cleverly written story knows exactly when and how to pace her humor. The article flows very well, the dialogue is in just the right place, and the humor never comes close to being corny, as it makes perfect sense. This judge believes that both No. 1 and No. 2 are ripe for reprinting the stories elsewhere.

3rd Place - Catherine Rain, Rockledge, FL – "Still Life" – The author conveys an emotional depth in her riveting story about daughter/father love and remembrance. Kudos for putting the reader in the story.

1st HM - Dawn A. Baldwin, Bartow, WV – "Re-Visiting Self-Reliance" – The essay about the author's "kinship" to Ralph Waldo Emerson is ingenious, intelligent, original and skillfully written. Bravo.

2nd HM - Barbara Layman, Van Nuys, CA – "Voicing Memories" – This is the same author as No. 1, and he/she is spot on with ease of topic, dialogue and explanation. Very interesting and well-written piece.

3rd HM - Daniel James Waters, Clear Lake, IA – "November 22nd (Remembered)"

4th HM - Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "A Tale of Two Swiss"

5th HM - Jean Powis, Troy, NY – "Editors: Friends or Foes"

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Sally Bair, Washburn, WI – "My Girl Jennie: A Love Story"

Jan Sherbin, Cincinnati, OH – "The Olympics: An Opportunity for Cultures to Get Cozy"

1ST Place - Janine MJ Desvaux, Alexandria, VA – "The Making of Sugar" – A beautifully written and exceptionally descriptive short story that makes the reader wish it were a longer story. Excellent. Except for "wanting more," the judge would not change anything in this nonfiction work.

2nd Place - Denise Harlow Timpko, Broadlands, VA – "Choices" – Although the present tense works, the judge believes past tense would flow a smidge better. That said, however, the story seems true to itself with excellent word choices and descriptions-"The blue-gray stare lacks humanity…" The author takes the reader through her traumatic journey of domestic abuse to a life of clarity and good choices. Well done.

3rd Place - Cara Sue Achterberg, New Freedom, PA – "Cowboy Mom" – The author weaves a great story about her love affair with horses, through a period of disenchantment until she reaches her destiny with the need for a particular horse. Her narrative and pacing are outstanding.

1st HM - Linda Bragg, New Port Richey, FL – "Blindside" – The author of this essay takes the reader through the challenges she faces with death and the string of losses she endures. Well written.

2nd HM - Laurie Glieco, Buffalo, NY – "Patterns"

3rd HM - Emily Hutto, Denver, CO – "Shooting Through Barriers"

4th HM - Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "Big Sister Na Chops Up Little Onion"

5th HM - Elizabeth A. Churchill, Scottsdale, AZ – "My Daughter, My Son – The Night Our World Stood Still"

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Sally Bair, Washburn, WI – "High Tea"

Geraldine Nicholas, Sherwood Park, Alberta – "Terry's Dream"

1st Place - Bruce J. Graham, Winter Park, FL – "Cross and Double Cross" – An interesting and original story idea. Dialogue and pacing are good.

2nd  Place - Alicia Stankay, Ambridge, PA – "Golden Days" – Good story, which could be helped with good editing.

3rd  Place - Daniel J. Waters, Clear Lake, IA – "Decathexis"

1st  HM - J. E. (Buck) Buchanan, Boynton Beachm, FL – "Regrets, No Regrets"
2nd HM - Ben A. Sharpton, Washaw, NC – "Something in the Air"

1st Place - Kate Ruland-Thorne, Grand Junction, CO – The Ancestors: Book One – The author succeeds from the beginning, as the reader feels the foul seawater, the seaweed that slaps the face, the frigid current and the fish that nibble the earlobes. To paraphrase Jerry Maguire's "you had me at hello," the author "has" the reader from word one, which continues throughout the chapter with excellent word choices, dialogue, plot and pacing.

2nd Place - Colleen Garrett, Ormond Beach, FL – Josephine's Garden: Epilogue – Grandpa's Coin – The reader easily envisions what Eudell looked like-both past and present-because of the author's vivid descriptions. The dialogue is concise and appropriate to the epilogue.

3rd Place - Colleen Garrett, Ormond Beach, FL – Josephine's Garden: Chapter 8 – The Gardener – Although the dialect could be perceived as off-putting at times, the dialogue, plot, and pacing are outstanding. The author is a good storyteller, and this novel shows promise.

1st HM - Joseph T. Straub, Orlando, FL – The Journeyman: Prologue – While other chapters in this book might need tightening and editing, the prologue is deftly written with well-chosen adjectives and verbs. The story transitions well from one paragraph to another

2nd HM - David Waid, Phoenix, AZ – Bone Conjurer, Chapter 24: The Valley of Winds – This novel holds promise. The narrative and pace flow with ease.

3rd HM - John J. White, Merritt Island, FL – Brooklyn Nights: Chapter 1

4th HM - Deborah Ann Whitford, Phoenix, AZ – Vanilla Popsicles: Chapter 27 – Tradition

5th HM - Barbara Florio Graham, Gatineau, Quebec – Exits: Star

NOTABLES (alphabetical by author)
Cindy Pontrelli, Green Cove Springs, FL – Flight 1715 to Havana: Chapter 5

Deborah Ann Whitford, Phoenix, AZ – Vanilla Popsicles: Chapter 8 – Mart Beag


2013 Writers-Editors Network Annual International Writing Competition - WINNERS
(HM = Honorable Mention)

1st Place – Irene Uttendorfsky, Port Leyden, NY – "The Portrait" – A strong, well-formed lead paragraph with just-right descriptive words begins the story's well-conceived journey that continues to the "surprise" ending. Pacing is very good, as is the dialogue. Just like the next story (2nd Place), this short story could easily segue into a novel.

2nd Place – Patricia A. Cox, Phoenix, AZ – "The Long Walk" – The author paints a lovely and sensitive picture with beautifully descriptive words. The chosen verbiage is not "over done," but rather right on target and pitch perfect for this particular genre story. Short paragraphs and dialogue briefs are very effective. This judge could easily see the short story evolving into a novel.

3rd Place – Rick Gustafson, Parker, CO – "Discipline" – The author explores the senses of his/her reader who can almost smell, taste, see and feel whatever is taking place throughout the story. Good plotting and characterization cause the reader to keep turning the pages.

1st HM – Melanie Peterson, Jackson Heights, NY – "November in Dallas"

2nd HM – Miriam Goodspeed, Palm Harbor, FL – "The Coming"

3rd HM – Jan Sherbin, Cincinnati, OH – "Under Fire: The Kiss"

4th HM – Arthur M. Doweyko, Vero Beach, FL – "Little Snowy Mountains"

1st Place - Carol J. Perry, Madeira Beach, FL – "Nightshades" – Sometimes a first person novel does not work, but in this case, the first person viewpoint is used very well and successfully. The character grabs hold of the reader with her actions, dialogue and thought process. Good use of carefully chosen dialogue easily carries the reader through the first chapter, anticipating what could follow. (Note: Carol Perry received a multi-title deal for this book - see our interview with Carol at k-contract/

2nd Place – Cindy Pontrelli, Green Cove Springs, FL – "Flight 1715 to Havana" – The first chapter is short, but more than effective because of its beautifully crafted words that put the reader right in the middle of the scene. The reader not only looks forward to the next chapter but to the entire book.

3rd Place – Patricia A. Cox, Phoenix, AZ – "Hellgate" – The short lead paragraph effectively sets the stage for this novel, putting "a lot" into two descriptive sentences – a young woman's pain, tension and the unknown during the days of the Wild West. The good pacing, narrative and dialogue make the reader want more.

1st HM – Colleen Garrett, Ormond Beach, FL – "Chapter 7 – Photographs and Memories"

2nd HM – Robert E. Marvin, Bradenton, FL – "Falling for Isaac Newton"

3rd HM – James D. Cary, Boynton Beach, FL – "Marco Polo Travels"

4th HM – Alexander Fernandez, Santa Maria, CA – "Tears for a World"

5th HM – G. Gray McVicker, West Des Moines, IA – "Close the Gates of Mercy"

1st Place – Melissa Killian, Cheswick, PA – "The Metamorphosis of a Marshmallow," short story for teens – Has likeable characters, a conversational tone, fresh twist, and credible but clever resolution.

2nd Place – Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, PR – "Kiko's Pineapple Pie," short story for 5-7-year-olds – Moves at a lively pace in a colorful setting with a nicely subtle theme on patience.

3rd Place – Carolyn Madero, Stamford, CT – "Would You Like to Hear My Poem?" poem for 4-8-year-olds – Keeps an appropriately rhythmic beat while presenting a story most children will identify with and enjoy.

1st HM – Linda Zajac, Vernon, CT – "Tuxedo Penguins in Peril," nonfiction book chapter – Includes a thorough bibliography with sidebars and a topic that appeals to most children.

2nd HM – Susan T. Davis, Poughkeepsie, NY – "Baseball Laughs and the Men Who Made Them," nonfiction article – Puts good research and writing into play.

3rd HM – Carol Bennett, West Warwick, RI – "Deborah: An Easter Story," book chapter – Uses a credible situation to create a fresh treatment of a familiar Bible story.

4th HM – Darlene Buechel, Chilton, WI – "Six Rules for Surviving a Stepdad," short story – Has a conversational tone that makes readers feel as though they're in the story, too.

5th HM – Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, PR – "Too Many Hats," short story – Maintains a lively pace and good humor in this well-written story.

6th HM – Linda Zajec, Vernon, CT – "Ice King of the Mountain," nonfiction book chapter – Has obviously been well-researched and tightly written.

7th HM – Janine Yordy, Huntersville, NC – "Skating on Thin Ice," first chapter of novel in free verse – Hints at the whole story, which sounds like a "good read."

1st Place – Alessandra Bianchi, Marblehead, MA – "Open Season: Answering Blackburn's Challenge," Rowing News – "From a strong, descriptive, creative lead paragraph to the last paragraph of this long article, the author writes as if she were in conversation with someone, telling her story. The author inserts details without getting bogged down with too much information. Her word choices are wise and relevant, and flow very well. She puts the reader right in the middle of the Blackburn rowing challenge. Very well done."

2nd Place – Patrick Flanary, New York, NY – "Vinyl Voyagers," – "The writer gives the reader a fascinating account into the world of record-lovers, and how one man goes to the "ends of the world" for his rare, historic finds. The author is spot on with his descriptive sentences. Just like the other two writers in our top three, he puts the reader smack dab into time and Place. Great job!"

3rd Place – Linda Bragg, New Port Richey, FL – "Deliverance" – "The author tells a deeply personal story without being maudlin. Her writing style is deceptively "simple," yet gets to the heart of the story with her well-chosen words. She makes the reader "feel" her own emotions-a sign of a good writer."

1st HM – Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "The Best Bad Tennis Player of All Time – Andy Roddick," TennisOne

2nd HM – Kathleen Vestal Logan, Gulf Breeze, FL – "History Sows the Seeds for Women's Second Blooming," Chapter 1: Second Blooming for Women

3rd HM – Paul Fein, Agawam, MA – "The 10 Greatest Matches in Wimbledon History," Sports Illustrated

4th HM – Robert B. Robeson, Lincoln, NE – "It Ain't Easy to Love Your Enemy," Military Magazine

5th HM – Mark Hawthorne, Rohnert Park, CA – "The Problem with Palm Oil," VegNews

6th HM – Frederick Jessett, Sammamish, WA – "What Is It With Kids And Sticks?" The Seattle Times

1st Place – Joy Wooderson, O'Fallon, MO – "Diary of a Part-time Dog Lover" – "Whether you're a dog lover or not, the writer expresses a delightful relationship with an "on loan" dog, who happens to be quirky and lovable according to the writer's words. The author takes the reader through her experience succinctly and eloquently. Every well-chosen word/paragraph moves the story forward to a bittersweet end. Very well done."

2nd Place – Kaitlyn Murphy, Council Bluffs, IA – "Behind the Inheritance" – This story came close to the top choice. The author of this essay took hold of beautifully constructed words and phrases to form a poignant story. Because of this, the reader hovers over the grandmother and granddaughter as though he/she is in the same room with them. That's the sign of a good writer.

3rd Place – Rick Lamplugh, Corvallis, OR – "The Bison's Last Ride" – The characters' well-written/logical quotes/words are interspersed very well with the narrative. Copy flows well, whether it's what each character is saying, or what the plot carries forward. No words are unnecessary, so the writer has edited himself/herself very well in this piece.

1st HM – Kim Rogers, Edmond, OK – "The Sunrise"

2nd HM – Camelia Townsend, Ashburn, VA – "Prelude to Change"

1st Place – Anna Amatuzio, New York, NY – "With Pleasure," pantoum – Stays true to form and presents a story that has emotional impact and, for many of us, strong reader identification, too. Well-done!

2nd Place - Joan Weiner, Weaverville, NC – "Pasta e Fagioli," free verse – Makes a familiar subject fresh, personable, and visual through the use of strong nouns and verbs. Emotional impact and a solid ending also lift and assist the poem. Loved it!

3rd Place - Kermit Brown, Asheville, NC – "Silent Screams," free verse – Has no spare words as it pictures an abandoned prison camp and artistically honors those who suffered there.

1st HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "The Midnight Train," sonnet – Gives readers a scene we can readily see, connect with, and feel the effect.

2nd HM - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, FL – "Music of the River," sestina – Moves along like the river with details and descriptions observed well – and well said.

3rd HM - Jan Evans, Toccoa, GA – "Finding God," nonet – Has no wordiness to hinder its movement as all nine lines stay true to form from the first 9-syllable line to the last one-syllable ending.

4th HM - Erna Hennessy, San Francisco, CA – "Two Oldies," humor poem – Engages readers with a fresh twist on life in a shoe.

5th HM - George Rhoades, Duncan, OK –  "Old Men At the Coffee Shop," free verse – Observes keenly and moves a familiar scene with rhythmic lines and end-line rhyme.

6th HM - Sally Clark, Fredericksburg, TX – "She Leaves Us, A Little At A Time," free verse – Creates an emotional impact from the first verse (actually, from the title) yet avoids sentimentality.

7th HM - Constance C.F. Golden, Duanesburg, NY – "Aftermath," free verse – Presents an after-the-storm scene that draws readers into the experience and its impact.


2012 Writers-Editors Network Annual International Writing Competition - WINNERS
(HM = Honorable Mention)
1st PLACE - Kimberlee Esselstrom, Groveland, Fla. – "The Sister Dance" – Literary – Excellent lead. Story flows very well. Each character is recognizable by traits and dialogue that express their emotions very well. Good plotting and pacing. Reader can easily become the mother looking down on her daughters. Logical ending.
2nd  PLACE - John J. White, Merritt Island, Fla. – "Beneath the Wintry Sky" – Literary – Excellent beginning. Very good storyline. Good mix of expressive narrative and dialogue to keep the story moving. Good characterization and conflict. Terrific ending.
3rd  PLACE - Linda Newman, San Mateo, Cal. – "The Visit" – Good storyline. Lots of dialogue, but the tone is logical and keeps the story moving very well. Good characterization.
1st  HM - Robert M. Temple, Homosassa, Fla. – "The Wolf-Gray War Bonnet" – Western – Excellent lead. Verbiage beautifully descriptive. Just enough dialogue for good plotting. Great ending.
2nd HM - Mary Kay McAllister, Juno Beach, Fla. – "Second Chances" – Literary – Reader can easily picture the characters by well-placed and evocative description. I would have deleted the last sentence and left the ending at "I hoped it was that time."
3rd HM - Margaret Truly, Hoover, Ala. – "The Parachute Dress"– Literary – Very good dialogue and narrative. Emotion is expressed clearly. Excellent storyline.
4th HM - Sylvia Forbes, Fayette, Mo. – "Revenge by Retriever" – Good lead, characterization and pacing. Reader can easily root for Penny and Sadie.
5th HM - Melanie Peterson, Jackson Heights, NY – "Scary Dream"
6th HM - Alicia Stankay, Ambridge, Penn. – "Rest in Peace"
7th HM - Margaret Truly, Hoover, Ala. – "Money Talks" – Mystery
8th HM - Suzann Owings, Albuquerque, NM – "The Debt" – Fantasy
9th HM - Geraldine Bass, Olathe, Kan. – "That Rundown Old House" – Mystery
10th HM - Ann King, Palisade, Col. – "Split-Second Decision"
1st PLACE - T. D. Hart, Bixby, Okla. – "Circles," Chapter One – Strong beginning; good flow and structure. Dialogue sings and is realistic and articulate, making characters seem "real." Very good use of engrossing words – tight, yet descriptive. Three conflicts are set up in first chapter – good for the reader. Can lead to a very good polished page-turner.
2nd PLACE - Gretchen Craig, Denton, Tex. – "Theena's Landing," Chapter One – Good lead and characters. Narrative flows well; very good use of descriptive words (without overdoing). Can sense conflict building.
3rd PLACE - Susan Nickerson, Wesley Chapel, Fla. – "Amazing Grace," Chapter One – Excellent, vivid lead. Expressive dialogue and strong characterization. Narrative flows eloquently. Good plotting.
1st HM - Kate Ruland-Thorne, Grand Junction, Col. – "Courage on the Nile," Part I, Chapter One – This novel has good potential. Characters live on the page. Narrative and dialogue puts the reader inside the story. Emotions expressed clearly. Each page easily/reasonably leads to another – good pacing.
2nd HM - Maris Soule, South Haven, Mich. – "Pandora's Box," Chapter One – Good lead and flow. Dialogue good, realistic and appropriate. Reader can relate to Mary Harrington. Conflict good, comprehensible and surprising. Sets the stage for a potentially riveting novel.
3rd HM - Gale Martin, Lititz, Penn. – "The Shaker Proposal," Chapter 1 – Novel has potential. Good beginning and characterization. Narrative could use some thoughtful editing.
4th HM - Gale Martin, Lititz, Penn. – "Ms. Manon in Hankey, PA," Chapter 1 – Storyline good. Novel has potential with the help of smooth editing.
5th HM - Robert Samuel Cromartie III, MD, Ormond Beach, Fla. – "An Innocent Lie," Chapter 1
6th HM - Laura Reese, Mobile, Ala. – "Center of Gravity," Chapter 1
7th HM - Debbie Allen, Tallahassee, Fla., "The Swinging Door," Chapter Three
8th HM - Barbara A. Andrews, Richmond, Tex. – "The Backwoods Princess," Chapter 1
9th HM - Laura Reese, Mobile, Ala. – "Stay Tuned," Chapter 1
10th HM - (tie) Irene Kueh, Lincoln, Ill. – "The Enchanted Voices," Chapter One
10th HM - (tie) Ann King, Palisade, Col. – "Time Stream," Chapter Eleven
1st PLACE - Heather Hamel, Elkton, Fla. – "Kobi: Memoirs of a Mustang," Chapter 1, Middle Grade Book – This opening chapter immediately engages readers in a fast-paced story that stays in the viewpoint and character of a fast-paced horse.
2nd PLACE - Lisa A. Wroble, Naples, Fla. – "Thicker Than Thieves," Chapter 1: Hope – Also for middle-school readers, the plot and action of this well-written historical fiction move along well.
3rd PLACE - Dorothy Davis Lyles, Stamford, Conn. – "Cat and Dog are Best Friends" – This innovative short story for young children cleverly weaves an ABC primer into an interesting and credible plot.
1st HM - Barbara Baig, Edmunds Township, Maine – "The Ice House" – Tightly written verses and an effective refrain present how-to information in this rhythmic, rhyming poem!
2nd HM - Carol Bennett, West Warwick, RI – "Sadie: A Revolutionary War Story," book chapter – Active verbs, an interesting era, and skillful use of dialogue move along this historical fiction.
3rd HM - A. Gwynn Henderson, Lexington, Ken. – "Hunting for Sounds" – This nonfiction article encourages outdoor activities and helps middle-grade readers to notice and identify bird calls.
4th HM - Jan Evans, Toccoa, Ga. – "Dandelions at Dawn" – Young children will identify with the familiar scene or learn what to expect in this rhythmic poem.
5th HM - Carol MacAllister, Boqueron, P.R. – "The Old Man and the Papaya, or Never Trust a Monkey" – The interesting setting and lively tale will appeal to young readers in this lively short story.
6th HM - Michael L. Thal, Sherman Oaks, Cal. – "Signs of Friendship" – This short story provides insight into the life of children who cannot hear but have the same needs and concerns as children who have not lost their hearing.
7th HM - Bekah Grace Schumm, Manhattan, Kan. – "Amy's New Life" – The novel chapter moves along an engaging story with an interesting setting, too.
8th HM - Susan T. Davis, Poughkeepsie, NY – "Feisty Dicey (1766-1837): A Courageous American Patriot," – This historical story article includes a bibliography that shows the author researched the era well.
9th HM - Cindy, Pontrelli, Green Cove Springs, Fla. – "Jellyfish Jam" – This lively, reader-friendly article presents middle-grade readers with interesting information about sea life.
10th HM - Carol Bennett, West Warwick, RI – "The Skaters" – From a historical novel, this chapter moves middle-grade readers through Redcoat territory.
1st PLACE - Alessandra Bianchi, Marblehead, Mass. – "Earning Our Turns," Vermont Magazine – excellent writing; entertains while it informs; writer understands the music of language and plays it well
2nd PLACE - Kay Grant, Albuquerque, NM – "Stroke of (Evil) Genius," American Way – very well-written and organized
3rd PLACE - Kathleen Vestal Logan, Gulf Breeze, Fla. – "Climate Map: Thrive in Your Natural Growing Zone," Chapter 2: Second Blooming For Women – offers 'food for thought' without preaching; nice flow
1st HM - Marcelle Soviero, Wilton, Conn. – "Making Peace at My Ex-Husband's Seder," Salon – compelling read; no dull passages, well-told throughout
2nd HM - Marie Marley, Olathe, Kan. – "The Little Yellow One," Alzheimer's Reading Room
3rd HM - K. B. Schaller, Plantation, Fla. – "Native Code Talkers Too Much for the German Army," The Christian Post
4th HM - Paul Fein, Agawam, Mass. – "Should Caroline Wozniacki Rank No. 1 in the World?" Tennis
5th HM - Patrick Flanary, New York, NY – "Welcome to the Jungle," DRUM!
6th HM - K. B. Schaller, Plantationm Fla. – "Osama Bin Laden, Geronimo and the Native American Perspective," The Christian Post
7th HM - Marcelle Soviero, Wilton, Conn. – "Loving Lydia," Weston Magazine Group
8th HM - Barbara Baig, Edmunds Township, Maine – "The Talent Myth," The Writer
9th HM - Barbara Layman, Van Nuys, Calif. – "It Was All Started by a Mouse," Disney Dream File
10th HM - (tie) Sylvia Forbes, Fayette, Mo. – "There's No Place Like Home…in a Cave," Missouri Life
10th HM - (tie) Dr. Robert Norman, Tampa, Fla. – "A Dermatologist Treats an Anxious Patient," Discover
1ST PLACE -Melanie Topp Cleveland, San Luis Obispo, Calif. –Poisoned, Chapter One: "Greenwoods's Greatest Scandal". – enticing first chapter; makes one want to read the book
2nd PLACE - Michael Moore, Rockwall, Tex. – I Am Moore, Chapter 37 – intriguing story
3rd PLACE - Kimberlee Esselstrom, Groveland, Fla. – "Fuchsia Envy," essay – good pacing
1st HM - Ira Spector, Coronado, Calif. – "Visit to a Third-World Country"
2nd HM - Ira Spector, Coronado, Calif. – ""Close Enough"
3rd HM - Charlotte Sundberg, Centerville, Mass. – My Life as a Motherless Daughter, Chapter 2
4th HM - Marie Marley, Olathe, Kan. – "Please Wear a Tux," book sub-chapter
5th HM - Irene Uttendorfsky, Port Leyden, NY – My Adirondack Summer, Chapter 1
6th HM - Jacquelyn Speir, Honolulu, HI – "Word Search," essay
7th HM - Cindy Pontrelle, Green Cove Springs, Fla. – "Transition"
8th HM - Lily Beck, Weaverville, NC – "The Grandfather"
9th HM - Kathleen Vestal Logan, Gulf Breeze, Fla. – "What Military People Wish You Knew about Their Family Life"
10th HM - (tie) Sylvia Forbes, Fayette, Mo. – "The Thrill of the Chase"
10th HM - (tie) Ann Kronwald, Chandler, Ariz. – "The Chase"
1st PLACE - Joyce Shiver, Crystal River, Fla. – "The Sound of Lonesome" – True-to-form, this well-written sonnet immediately engages readers and maintains a mournful tone appropriate to the content.
2nd PLACE - Leslie C. Halpern, Oviedo, Fla. – "In-Laws' Moving Sale" – This free verse poem plays with light humor and fresh metaphors to represent stages of life with which most readers will identify.
3rd PLACE - Matthew Pearce, Celebration, Fla. – "Unforgiven" – Strong verbs, nouns, and emotions poetically portray a vivid scene with no words or time to spare.
1st HM - Carol Carpenter, Livonia, Mich. – "Cherry Poem" – Crisp metaphors snap underfoot in this tightly packed free verse, ready to be picked.
2nd HM - Catherine Moran, Little Rock, Ark. – "A dissertation on the classroom"
3rd HM - Betsy Humphreys, Granite Falls. NC – "In the Groove" – A jazzy form bumps up the music in this lively free verse poem.
4th HM - Alise Versella, Lanoka Harbor, NJ – "For S. L. V." – Humorous insight, lively metaphors, and a fresh view elevated this free verse poem.
5th HM - Joan Weiner, Weaverville, NC – "New Bed" – Readers can easily envision this snatch of story.
6th HM - Carol Dee Meeks, Tulsa, Okla. – "If You Listen, You Can Hear It" – This sonnet stays in tune and form in a situational poem that most readers can relate to and hear.
7th HM - Betsy Humphreys, Granite Falls, NC – "Learning Japanese at Nikka Yuko Garden" – This fresh free verse provides cultural interest and, perhaps, the outline for a poetry chapbook.
8th HM - Ruan Wright, Bolingbrook, Ill. – "What I Can't Hear" – The simplicity of this poem and its poignant ending will draw pet lovers, especially this dog lover, who, she is sad to say, identifies with the scene at this very moment.
9th HM - Geraldine Bass, Olathe, Kan. – "It's Two O' Clock in the Morning" – Every parent or caregiver will relate to this humorous poem with its appropriate, one-beat rhythm
Download Winners of a few prior years in PDF files:
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