Latest Award-Winning Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction

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

Snake Dreaming: Speculations on Human and Reptile Consciousness | M. Garrett Bauman

Poetry Writing Contest 24 (2009)
First Place

I began this piece by narrating my encounters with snakes. But it remained flat until I accepted that something deeper was going on. Time for research. Reptile science proved to be as poetic as myth and symbols; I grudgingly came to realize that snake “dream” consciousness painfully exposes humans’ failure to evolve beyond our primitive, violent origins. At the same time I felt a comic detachment from the reptile “philosophy,” much as we regard our own dream state. You cannot simply write what you already know. Writing must change your ideas or it is merely report writing. — M. Garrett Bauman

Cracking Open | Patricia Brieschke

Nonfiction Writing Contest XXIII (2008)
First Place

Listen to your work as you read it aloud. Ears don’t lie. Rewrite, then rewrite again. Put it aside for a while, then return and rewrite again. Read it to someone whose ear you trust and embrace the feedback, If they say “get rid of a phrase, a sentence, a section, a character,” take however long you need to stew, then open yourself to the critique. If you cut material, stash it in your own slush pile to be used somewhere else. The slash and burn part of writing is exhilarating. And, yes, less is more.. — Patricia Brieschke

Survival | Susan Cohen

Poetry Writing Contest 22 (2008)
First Place

When digging in the ashes, sometimes you find a poem. I worked on this one over several years, paring the language while the idea enlarged itself. — Susan Cohen

The Wedding Dress | Cynthia Reeves

Flash Fiction Writing Contest 22 (2008)
First Place

Above my office desk is the following quote from Ortega y Gasset: “The man with the clear head…looks life in the face, realizes everything is problematic and feels himself lost, as this is the simple truth that to be alive is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground.” These words inspire me to continue whether I’m lost confronting the blank page or lost deep in the throes of revision. — Cynthia Reeves

Why I Work | Jeff Walt

Poetry Writing Contest XIII, First Place (2002)
I find poetry under every rock, in all the nooks and crannies of life- search for the dark and light of who we are, in what we assume to be terrestrial and mundane. When I feel at a loss for subject matter I simply look to the moment: where I am and what I am doing always has a poem in it. — Jeff Walt

Lobsters in a Tank | Kiyash Monsef

New Millennium Award for ?
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