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
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.