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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Chautauqua Festival Creative Writing winners announced

June 30, 2014

WYTHEVILLE, Va. — The Wytheville Chautauqua Festival honored 33 winners at the festival's Creative Writing Contest awards ceremony.

The awards were presented following a literary reading and presentation by author Gayle Trent and featured readings from first place winners in each category.

Author Gayle Trent (pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop.

Trent often conducts workshops on many subjects related to writing and publishing for both adults and children. She resides in Abingdon, Virginia.

At the awards ceremony, cash prizes were awarded in three categories (essay, poem, short story) to writers in three age groups (grades 6-9, 10-12 and adult). The winners are as follows:

Adult Essay: first place, Michael Samerdyke, Big Stone Gap; second, Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke; third, Bruce A. Rae, Moneta; honorable mention, Rhonda K. Simmerman, Wytheville.

Adult Poetry: first, Adda Leah Davis, Rosedale; second, Donna Ogle, Hillsville; third, John M. Koelsch, Salem; honorable mention, Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke.

Adult Short Story: first, Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke ; second, Bruce A. Rae, Moneta; third, Donna Ogle, Hillsville.

High School (10-12 grades) Essay: first, Ethan Webb, Fancy Gap; second, Kenley Meredith, Hillsville; third, Dylan Crigger, Rural Retreat; honorable mention, Jared M. Jones, Galax.

High School (10-12 grades) Poetry: first, Amber Waddle, Woodlawn; second, Carrie Coltrane, Austinville; third, Ashley Pertee, Rural Retreat.

High School (10-12 grades) Short Story: first, Dylan Crigger, Rural Retreat; second, Jared M. Jones, Galax; third, Katherine Spencer, Woodlawn; honorable mention, Sarah Linville, Cana.

High School (6-9 grades) Essay: first, Teagan Waugh, Princeton; second, Colt Halstead, Flat Top; third, Marisha Poore, Matoaka; honorable mention, Hannah Overstreet, Princeton.

High School (6-9 grades) Poetry: first, Teagan Waugh, Princeton; second, Hannah Overstreet, Princeton; third, Michael McGrady, Athens.

High School (6-9 grades) Short Story: first, Grace Dean, Max Meadows; second, Hannah Overstreet, Princeton; third, Abby Lester, Kellysville; honorable mention, Brett Cox, Princeton.

This year's contest judges included Jereial Fletcher from Southwest Virginia Community College; Tempi Hale, Northeast State Community College; Rosa Lee Judd, Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ron Dees, writer; and Rhonda Catron–Wood, Jill Ross, Mimi Leonard and Peter Sprano from Wytheville Community College.

Chautauqua Creative Writing Contest Committee members include Rhonda Catron-Wood (chair), Deanna Bradberry, Martha Cox, Betsy Ely, Liza Field, Rosa Lee Judd, Connie Moore, and Joanne Wilson. Wytheville Community College employees Jill Ross, Nancy Sauls, Keisha Stuart, Sherry White, and Bill Veselik also assisted with this year's contest.