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Annual Short Story Contest Has Closed

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Our Short Story Contest has closed. Good luck to everyone who has submitted.

Winners of the Joyce La Mers Poetry Contest

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The club’s April 2014 meeting was a tribute to poetry: both the poetry of our contest winners, and the poetry of the late Joyce La Mers, for whom this year’s VCWC poetry contest was named.

philLocal poet Phil Taggert, co-founder of the poetry magazine Askew, was a judge in this year’s contest. Phil spoke about Joyce La Mers, read two of her poems, “The Microwave” and “Designer,” and told us a bit  more about her, mentioning that she had her first poem published in the magazine The Southern Churchman when she was seven.

Phil talked about the abundance of poetry being written and read in our local area (nine poetry readings over the space of a week). He ended by reading Joyce’s poem First Time, and encouraging all in attendance to find Joyce’s You Tube reading of her poem. I’m in Love with Tiger Woods, a tongue-in-cheek ode to the golfer, and a play on William Blake’s poem, The Tiger.

Shelba turned the attention to the winners of this year’s contest. She began by explaining that the judging is a blind, two-step process. First-round judges narrow the field, and pass their shelba2selections on to the second round. No judge knows the author of any of the poems until the winning poems have been selected. “Poetry is self-revelatory,” Shelba said. “This year’s poets were philosophers, animal lovers, and all the finalists have other lives—and had them long before they added poetry to their resumes.” Also, she said, the poems revealed many life crises. “I loved reading them,” she said. “And I know you will love hearing them.” She then called each winner up, beginning with the youth winners.

Those winners are:

Adult Winners

First Place:  Les Raboteurs De Parquet by Ron Alexander of Santa Barbara

Second Place: Moon Over Lima by Nancy-Jean of Thousand Oaks

Third Place: Knowing That All Things Must End by Katherine Hamilton of Camarillo

Honorable Mention: A Record by Erin Moore

Honorable Mention: Sea Lions in the Afterlife by Ron Alexander of Santa Barbara

Honorable Mention: Morning Mirror by Katherine Hamilton of Camarillo

Honorable Mention: Rabbit Hole by Christina Pages

 

Youth Winners

First place: Only if You Believe by Brisa Porter Garcia of Simi Valley

Second Place: Window Talk by Erin Stoodley of Ventura

Third Place: Time by Callie Blumenfield of El Paso

poetrywinners2014

Past Poetry Contest Winners

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To encourage the craft, VCWC sponsors an annual poetry contest. We honor our past winners. If you have any information about the 2005 and 2006 poetry contests, as well as honorable mentions (HM) from past contests, please contact Barbara at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

2016

Adult

First Place: World Dance by Bijaya Eaton

Second Place: Except to say by Anita McLaughlin

Third Place: Girl in Blue by Karen Kinrose

HM: The Postlude by Robert Banfill

HM: Girlfriends Days by channa carter

HM: A Salute to Toads by Ron Loewe

HM: Meditation Frustration by Kim Reed

HM: Never Gone by Sharon Sinczewski

 

Youth

First Place: Sonnet with Kitchen Sink by Lindsay Kiri

Second Place: The Salvation Story Part I by Noah Sletten

 

2015

Adult

First Place:  Willa's Song: Coyote by Glenna Luschei of San Luis Obispo

Second Place: A Portrait in Raspberry by Laura Dixon of Ventura

Third Place: Freeze-up by Bruce Reynolds of Potomac, Maryland

HM: A Strand of Scarlet Yarn by Diana Caskey of Ventura

HM: OctopusMachina by Michael Seals of Camarillo

HM: Water: Written on a Balcony in Rome by Diana Mautner of Oxnard

 

Youth

Ages 13-17: IAm a Painting by Raya Driggers of Ojai

Ages 12 and Under: Finally a Big Sister by Natalie Stegner of Camarillo

 

 

2014

Adult

First Place:  Les Raboteurs De Parquet by Ron Alexander of Santa Barbara

Second Place: Moon Over Lima by Nancy-Jean of Thousand Oaks

Third Place: Knowing That All Things Must End by Katherine Hamilton of Camarillo

HM: A Record by Erin Moore

HM: Sea Lions in the Afterlife by Ron Alexander of Santa Barbara

HM: Morning Mirror by Katherine Hamilton of Camarillo

HM: Rabbit Hole by Christina Pages

 

Youth

First place: Only if You Believe by Brisa Porter Garcia of Simi Valley

Second Place: Window Talk by Erin Stoodley of Ventura

Third Place: Time by Callie Blumenfield of El Paso

 

2013

Adult

First Place: Flight by Diana G. Caskey

Second Place: Monsoons in New Mexico by Glenna Luschei

Third Place: Pending by Joyce La Mers

Youth: 13-18

First Place: I Loved It by Seamus Morrison

Second Place: Horse by Nichole Riffenburgh

Third Place: Against the Ocean by April Swan

Youth: Under 12

First place: The Nature of Clouds by Kyle Foster

Second place: Skiing by Sydney Fleet

Third place: Field of Gold (Stolen) by Christopher Gaston

 

2012

Audio Visual

First Place:  First There Was Stone by Maia

Second Place: 9503 Maryknoll by Phil Taggart

Third Place: Love Changed by Ricky Robles

HM: Hilde's Song by Richard Lukas

HM: Poems and Pictures by Blanche Campagnoni

 

Adult

First Place: Sometimes an Angel by Mary Kay Rummel

Second Place: She Lies in the Middle by Robert Geweniger

Third Place: What Do the Dead Know? by Mike Faran

HM:  Airports of the World by Danielle Brown

HM: This New Child by Kay Krattli

 

Youth: 13-18

First Place:  Behind Our Eyes by Olivia Adelman

Second Place: Lost by Kaleigh James

Third Place: Lost Oceans by Ana-Luisa Anaya

HM: Memorable Night by Carolyn Olsen

HM: Growing Up by Emma Huebner

 

Youth: Under 12

First Place: Love/Hatred by Elana Luo

Second Place: Ruby by Juliet Ward

Third Place: If I Were a … by Hannah Buch

HM: Something on the Floor by Maya Porche

HM:  The Beach by Natalie Markman

 

2011

Adults

First Prize: and those who call themselves human…what are they like? by Virginia Anderson

Second Prize: To Die For by Michael Faran

Third Prize: Dylan '65 by Michael Faran

 

Youth: 13-18

First Prize: Memorization by Katie Wurtzel

Second Prize: I'm Still Here by Erin Strubbe

Third Prize: I'm Already There by Ana-Luisa Anaya

HM: Disarray by Sara Wilson

HM:  Winter's Melody by Juliana DiStefano

 

Youth: 12 and under

 First Prize: Storm by Kayla Borkovec

 Second Prize: The Shooting Star by Alisha Patel

 Third Prize: Avalanche by Chris Flood

 

 2010

 Adults

 First Place: Mother Redux by Carla Laureen Henry

 Second Place: The Enigma of Survival by Patricia Hoad

 Third Place: The woman who Went to Bed by Ron A. Alexander

 HM: One Fence Away by Michael Faran

 HM: Blue Lupine by Patricia Hoad

 HM:  Senryu by Doris Vernon

 

Youth: 13-18

First Place: Invasion by Rachel Phillips

Second  Place:  It Rains by Cara Pew

Third Place: The Dog by Mykel Davis

HM: Cancer Chooses You by Carly Horne

HM: A Mirror’s Secret by Megan Yip

HM:  Little Miss Smug by Rachel Phillips

HM: Punching Bag by Arvind Bhattacharya

HM:  Lil Jester by Edgar L Palencia

 

2009

Adults

First Place: Renovation by Cathryn Andresen

Second Place: Featherbrains by Margaret Morris

Third Place: We Go to a Fire by Michael Faran

 

Under 18

First Place: Being Me by Elizabeth Riker

Second Place: The Silly Game by Valerie Lopez

Third Place: Ode to an Orange by Patty Espinoza

 

2008

First Place: Lament for a Long-Stranded Ship by James Vernon

Second Place: Adam and Eve Revisited by Stuart Chalfant

Third Place: Horses, Higher Education & A Budweiser Beer Salesman by Polly Bee

 

2007

Non-Published

First Place: My 8th Birthday (after Frank O' Hara) by Melissa Grossman

Second Place: Joy in the Morning by Danielle Brown

Third Place: Battles by Paul Westefer

HM: Carelessness by Melissa Grossman

HM: Spring Rain by Danielle Brown

HM: Silence Is Golden by Helen Stockdale

 

Published

First Place: How to Paint Yourself Into a Corner by Cathryn Andresen

Second Place: Some Reasons Why I Won't Loan You $500 by Michael Faran

Third Place: Rick Sings by Phil Taggert

HM: Perfect Lady by Risky Betts

HM: Hansel Comforts Gretel by Doris Vernon

HM: to the girl wearing a rain-soaked beret by Michael Faran

HM: Labor Day at Lake Chautauqua by Mary H. Shaffer.

 

2005 and 2006

First Place: DNA by William Vietinghoff

Second Place: August by Tim Tipton

Third Place: Beyond the Margin by Diana Blackburn

Third Place: A tanka by Doris Vernon

Past Short Story Contest Winners

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To encourage the craft, VCWC sponsors an annual short story contest. Listed below are our past winners. We are looking for information about our 2005 contest about the order of the winners, as well as any honorable mentions for past contests. If you have any information, please contact Barbara at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2013

Adult Category

First Place: The Loose Rack by Terry Tallent of Ojai

Second Place: When Life Gives You Lemmings by Carol Fogel of Thousand Oaks

Third Place: Had to Be You by Joe Vandenberg of Ojai

Honorable Mention: Is this the World? by Mal King of Santa Paula

 

Youth Category

First Place: Funeral by Zoe Appleby of Ojai

Second Place: When the Morning Comes by Carolyn Richards of Ojai

Third Place: Paring Ritual by Erin Stoodley



2012

Adult Category
First Place: Slowly, Slowly, Without Much Notice by Dallas Woodburn

Second Place: Dancing with Dreams by Karen Gorback

Third Place: Message from Sharon by Shlomo Kreitzer

Honorable Mentions:
Weathering the Storm by Mal King
Revenge by Patricia Caloia
Truth or Dare by Giselle Lumas

Youth Category
First Place: Colorblind by Grace O'Toole

Second Place: Inherently Human by Angelina Martin

Third Place:  A Journey Through Shades of Grey by Sarah Redner

Honorable Mentions:
Max Morales at student at Villanova Preparatory School won all three honorable mentions for "The Date," "Constellation," and "The Last Look in Their Eyes"

 

2011

First Place: The Last Speed Run by Bill Stermer

Second Place: Holding Onto Hawaii by Roni Hooper

Third Place: Lynchburg Correctional, 1845 by Sheli Ellsworth

Honorable Mentions:
At Sea by Carol Fogel
Ben by Frank Leupp

 

2010

First Place: The Man Who Talks with Birds by Robert Sanders

Second Place: Rosie Sees the Light by Carol Fogel

Third Place: The Runner by Greg Elliot

Honorable Mentions:
The Right Time by Brenda Tzipore
My Punishment by Brenda-Lee Riker
Kathryn's Turn by Shlomo Kreitzer

 

2009

First Place: Rendezvous with the Boatman by Kathleen Auth and Claudette Young

Second Place: Love in the Time of Nixon by Susan Brown,

Third Place: A Lesson, A Test, A Gift? by Shlomo Kreitzer

 

2008

First Place: The Last Dime by Mal King

Second Place: Quest by Jim Seerden

Third Place: The Drive Home by Tammy Delatorre

 

2007

First Place: Leaf by Leaf by Lori Anaya

Second Place: Nacho's Nopales by Matthew Demaria

Third Place: The Ticket by Sheli Ellsworth

 

2006

First Place: Movin' by Lee Wade

Second Place: New Names and Old Brisket by Dallas Woodburn

Third Place: The Abandoned House by Gordon Twa

 

2005

The Concrete is Always Greener by Wendy Dager

To Hold Harmless by Sharon Patterson

Pas De Deux by Lucille Sutton

The Scent of Honeysuckle by Carol Pond

Divine Wind by Bruce Henderson

The Mudslinger by LeeAnne Clark

A Butterfly for Bernice by Susan Brown

The Curative Powers of Chocolate by Karen Gorback

What Really Happened to Helen Fork by Liz Gollen

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