Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Winners at the Ozarks Creative Writers Conference

The Ozarks Creative Writers' Conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is the first conference I ever attended -- more than 15 years ago. My dear friend Lou Turner and I made the trip to Eureka that first time and for several years afterwards. OCW is a fun and lively and welcoming event with inspiring speakers, helpful information, excellent networking opportunities, and great contests.

Lou Turner is now a member of the OCW board, along with Dusty Richards, Velda Brotherton, David Kirkland, and several others who do an excellent job putting on the annual event.

While I haven't been able to make the trip to Eureka for years, I was honored to have been asked this year to judge three contests. Believe me; it wasn't easy picking the winners. In one contest, two entries were so equally excellent it was hard to pick one for the top award.

The judging was blind so I didn't know whose entries I was reading, but I was delighted to learn afterwards that some of my Coffee and Critique group writing friends received awards -- although not necessarily in the categories I judged.

Drum roll please . . .

Marcia Gaye took home these awards:

1st: Las Manos Bella de Elizabeth for short story
2nd: Giving Love a Chance for memoir essay
2nd: My Volkswagen for Creative Nonfiction essay
2nd: Lost Hope Missouri for Literary Novel
3rd: Geese for Japanese Tanka Poetry
HM: Mother of the Painted Desert for free verse poetry

Nick Nixon was recognized for:

1st: Little Red Rider for Storyteller Magazine award
3rd:  Bless u Dexter for humorous short story
3rd: Old Dempsey for Ozark Nostalgia
3rd: The Teacher's Paleo Pecker for Jim Richardson Memorial Award

Doyle Suit received awards for:

1st: Tales of a Misspent Youth for The High Hill Press Book Award
1st: A Loose Sole for Search for Excellence Award
1HM: Hale's Law for the Oxbow Award
3HM: A Pig for Sarah for OWL Award
Doyle also received lunch with agent Cherry Weiner for winning the synopsis award

Congratulations to all the winners!

Wish I could've been there to see you receive your awards. God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll make it there soon.


  1. Donna--Marcia and her husband are going to have to move to another house. Marcia is a hoarder...a hoarder of writing prizes.

    Congratulations to your appointment as a judge (you), and congrats to Doyle, Nick and Marcia.

    1. Hi Sioux,
      Isn't she amazing? In fact, the whole gang did an awesome job.

  2. Kudos to the award-winners! Will there be a place to read their entries?

    1. Hi Val,
      I don't believe the entries will be posted anywhere, but if you contact the winners they might let you have a peek.

  3. Congratulations to all of the talented writers!

  4. Congrats to the winners. Being familiar with the talents of most on that list, I know they deserve it!

    Critter Alley

  5. Aw shucks, y'all are too kind. But Donna, I certainly miss you when you're not around. I traveled alone - which you know I hate to do - but boy was it worth it. A few days at the Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, and then the OCW gig. What fun to enter so many different contests! Something for everybody. I was a judge also, which is a huge honor I must say, so I admire you for that too. Folks around these parts are so supportive and encouraging. Looking forward to hearing you speak in Columbia MO, and then on to OWL in Branson.

  6. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for stopping by and offering your words of encouragement.

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for stopping by and attesting to the talent of the winners--you are right; they surely do deserve it!

    Hi Marcia,
    I'm sure you all had a blast in Eureka. And it's true what you write about how supportive OCW writers are. An extra bonus is the drive to the venue--Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas are so beautiful this time of the year.
    Not sure if I'll be able to make OWL in November (drat it), but I will be in Columbia since I'm one of the speakers. ;-)

  7. Me too, Donna, I miss going! :(

    But WOW!, congratulations to Marcia, Doyle, and Nick--I bet you all are so thrilled and I know it is so well-deserved! Congrats, congrats, congrats.

    Thanks, Donna, for sharing the great news. :)


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