Latest Award-Winning Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction

Anomie | Britton Gildersleeve

Nonfiction Writing Contest 24 (2009)
First Place

I revised this piece so many times – adding, subtracting, changing…maybe because like all my work, it bridges the gap between what I experienced and what I know/feel about that experience. To paraphrase Forster, how do I know what I feel until I see what I write? Writing isn’t just about the words on the page, but about living and how you construct it… about exploring who you are, what the world expects you to be, mapping an intellectual and emotional cartography. And being able to send those maps out again, rejection after rejection after rejection… — Britton Gildersleeve

Wildfire-Hellfire | Ralph Ryan

‘Wildfire-Hellfire’ was one of many hair-raising experiences I lived during a fourteen year wild land firefighting career. It was the most exciting time of my life and after reliving the adventures over and over again in my mind, I’ve come to the point where I want to tell my story. Transforming thoughts to paper has been as challenging an adventure as it has been enjoyable. I love the craft and strive to put the reader with me, as totally into the moment as possible, to let them feel the intensity. For me, that’s the magic of words. —Ralph Ryan

Winter Oranges | Susan Chiavelli

Flash Fiction Writing Contest 25 (2009)
First Place

Our stories are time capsules that contain what is otherwise destined to vanish—the essence of ourselves, our time, and place. I have a keen interest in telling stories from the view points of girls and young women, who are often marginalized or silenced. It is the exploration of the unsaid that illuminates the emotional truth we seek in any age. — Susan Chiavelli

Tail the Barney | Stephen Irwin

Fiction Writing Contest 24 (2009)
First Place

Writing’s easy. Good writing’s hard. And it feels a long, long road between those poles, especially when, most of the time, you don’t really know how close to which one you are. Yet, it’s simple to recognise others’ True North: good writing elicits powerful emotions through the seemingly effortless witchery of combining even the most commonplace words. So, on my long walk, I’m trying to convey more by saying less, to speak more clearly by listening more closely, and to write better by reading with a care that reflects the love with which stories were written. I’ll let you know if it works! — Stephen Irwin

No Longer Strangers | Adrienne Pond

Flash Fiction Writing Contest 24 (2009)
First Place

My favorite writers are mavericks who can foreshadow a dare we must offer ourselves – to be better. They risk their lives, risk losing their jobs, risk losing love or have already been risked by someone else. Their words keep us from fleeing when all a morning may offer is cold stale fear of what next could crush the only edge left on a last dream. Writers are everyone’s witnesses, reminding that last dreams can mutate and multiply into anything. — Adrienne Pond

The Visible Spectrum | Ellen Sullins

Poetry Writing Contest #24 (2009)
First Place

For me, the most rewarding writing often starts out as one thing and morphs into something else entirely. When I began this piece, I was light-heartedly pondering the question of what goes on (or doesn’t) in the minds of cats, but then the poem grabbed my pen and the rest of The Visible Spectrum wrote itself. The desire to return to that state of altered consciousness and emotional openness is what keeps me writing.  — Ellen Sullins


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