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Story Contest Winners
   
     2019 is the 21st year of our annual story contests.  The stories, as usual, are top notch. It was a pleasure to read them and to help the judges come up with the winners.               
     It was also sad, because there were many fine stories that did not make the list.
 In many cases they were disqualified merely because they were too short or too long.  I sincerly regret that we can't acknowledge them all.
     For the 2019 contest year the first prize in each category was $200.  Runner-up prize was $100.  All finalists received attractive certificates suitable for framing.  Click here to see one of our award certificates.  

     Click here to see the rules for the 2020 contests.

    Take the time to read these fine stories.   After that, think about entering one of your stories and then click here to learn how.

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2019 Winners

  •  General Nonfiction (closed August 31, 2019)
  •  Winner
  •  Anne Organista-- Not Just Another History Lesson
  •  Runners-Up (tie)
  • Desiree Kendrick--Things My Mother Failed To Tell Me About Heaven 
  •  Celeste Leon--Lessons From My Father
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Karen Curran--The Father I Discovered Late In Life
  •  Kelly Maida--Forgiveness
  •  Richard Orth--Historic Farming With Horses In  Berks County
  •  Carol Rotta--The Easter Bunnies
  •  Patricia M. Snell--Baby Boom, Beatles, and Beyond
  •    
  • Travel Nonfiction  (closed August 31, 2019)    
  • Winner (tie)
  •  Douglas Holub--Air Adventure 
  • Charleine Sell--Two Years In Kadugli
  •  Runner-Up
  • Desiree Kendrick--Paris Postcards
  •   Other Finalists
  •  Evan L. Balkan--Q
  •  Brittany Rohm--Turkish Delight
  •  Monica Wenzel--Mishi, My Flying Cat

  • Winners Circle Open Nonfiction (closed May 31, 2019)
  •  First Prize 
  •  Isabel Bearman Bucher--My Maisie
  •  Finalists
  • Elaine Greensmith Jordan--The Slant of Light
  •  Albert Vitere Lannon--True Tales from the Wild Heart Critterarium 
  •  Don Shook--Bill Price
  •  Karen Radford Treanor--A New Fire

  •  Biographical Nonfiction (closed April 30, 2019)
  •  Winner
  •  Doug Sherr--Another Little Christmas Tale
  •  Runner-Up
  • Luqman Morrison--Stranger In The Club
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Patricia Snell--Unasked Questions 
  •  N. Barry Carver--Notre Dame Cathedral Is Afire Today
  •  Kathryn Lynch--The Haircut


  •   Animal Nonfiction  (closed April 30, 2019)
  •   Winner
  •  Don Shook--Five Pounder
  •  Runner-Up
  • Brittany Rohm--Gomez the Jungle Dog
  •   Other Finalists
  •  Koji Dae--Black Canyon Mountain Lion
  •  Leslie Soule--The Bears of California

  • 2018 Winners


  •  Animal Nonfiction 
  •  Winner
  •  Bill Cox--The Hill
  •  Runner-Up
  • Rachael Bates--The Snowdon Panther
  •   Other Finalists
  •  Judith Nakken--The Eagle Lesson
  •  Lisa Rehfuss--The Ostrich and the Rhino
  •  Brittany Rohm--Beyond the Reef
  •  
  •  Biographical Nonfiction 
  •  Winner
  •  Kathryn Lynch--The Wailing Sound
  •  Runner-Up
  • Robert Flournoy--Things Are Never As They Seem
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Aubrey Grace--A Letter to my Rapist 
  •  Doug Sherr--South Meadow
  •  Katie Danis--Create it Away
  •  John Sayles--A Painful Introduction to Real Life

  •  
  •  General Nonfiction 
  •  Winner
  •  Sara Etgen-Baker--The Stranger in the Box
  •  Runner-Up
  • Alex Jasinski--Concrete Ancients
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Blue Dunwoody--Pearl Harbor Attack 
  •  Naheem Watson--Liberty and Justice
  •  Anny Muss--Not Angry, Just 


  •  Travel Nonfiction 
  •  Winner
  •  Albert Vetere Lannon--Me and Ishkabibble and the Wild Places
  •  Runner-Up
  • Janet Campbell--Sea Change
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Don Carter--Life on the Road without any Brakes
  •  Howard Englander--Mukachevo on $5,000 a Day
  •  Koji A. Dae--Fables and Fertility: Pobiti Kamani 

  • 2017 Winners
     
  •  Winner--General Nonfiction (Tie)
  •  Karen Treanor--Ravin' Mad
  • Joni Bour--The Man and the Moon
  •   Other Finalists
  •  Margaret Valenta--The Despicable iPhone and Me
  •  Steve Alexander--Raising Kids

  •  
  •  Winner-Biographical Nonfiction 
  •  William Larsen--Sanctuary
  •  Runner-Up (Tie)
  •  Lane Dooling--May We Just Have One More Talk...One More Story?
  • Judith Nakken--Millie Dearest
  • Other  Finalists
  • Barry Carver--Pocket
  • Leslie Soule--Odd Intruder
  •  Gayle Thawley--What Lies Ahead


  •  Winner--Travel Nonfiction
  • Evan Balkan--A Beautiful and Haunted Tune
  •  Runner-Up
  •  Karen Treanor--The Last (And First) Time I Saw Paris
  •  Other Finalists
  •  June Calender--Trans-Siberian Railroad
  • Nancy Massand--Why I'll Never Go Back To Albuquerque
  • Joni Bour--Part Of Him Was Lost

  • 2016 Winners
     
  •  Winner--General Nonfiction 
  •  James Sclater--Hosing down Lootie Seton 
  •  Runner-Up
  •  Joni Bour--Duct Taped Boots and Cigarette Butts
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Donal Buchanan--Confessions of a Computer Junkie
  •  Gene Fletcher--The Judge
  •  Karen Treanor--Pestered by Parrots

  •  
  •  Winner-Biographical Nonfiction 
  •  Karen Treanor--Our Garden Goes To Pot
  •  Runner-Up 
  •  Kay Harper--Not In Vain
  • Other  Finalists
  • Dale Fehringer--Mom's Diaries
  • Emily Hart--The Quiet Baby
  •  Donna Heinsbroek--The Queen of Savannah Bridge
  •  Kathy Wolfe--My Grandmother Millie


  •  Winner--Travel Nonfiction
  • Charles Hartley--Norwegian Nightmare
  •  Runner-Up
  •  Brendan O'Brien--Atop This Rock
  •  Other Finalists
  •  Akber Ayub--Pondicherry, A French Connection 
  • Dale Fehringer and Patty McCrary--Cuba: Cycling in a Land that Time Forgot
  • Cassondra Windwalker--Scree Fields

  • 2015 Winners
     
  •  FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION 
  •  Shivaji Moitra--Divine Connections 
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  Gene Fletcher--A Hog Claim
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  Nancy Massand--Diversity
  •  Steve Alexander--Three Stories
  •  Brendan O'Brien--Clarity
  •  Lisa Rehfuss--Ghost Trilogy

  •  
  •  FIRST PRIZE--BIOGRAPHICAL NONFICTION 
  •  Carl Winderl--A Half-Empty Mayonnaise Jar
  •  Runner-Up 
  •  Gene Fletcher--Will
  • Honorable Mention
  • Ellie S. Thomas--An Ending and a Beginning
  • Carol Kloskowski--The New David
  •   Dale Fehringer--Alice Marble: The Queen of Swat
  •  Pearl Watley Mitchell--Every Mother Has a Story


  •  FIRST PRIZE--TRAVEL NONFICTION
  • Karen Radford Treanor--The Trip of a Lifetime
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  Kristin Fouquet--Août in Paris, A Travelogue
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  June Calender--Trekking in Nepal 
  • Brendan O'Brien--Seeking a Lion's Historian


  • 2014 Winners
     
  •  FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION 
  •  Nancy Loera--Grandpa's Time Machine
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  Dick Miller--Flo...
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  Sara Berelsman--We Do Not Choose...
  •  Sara Berelsman--Faith
  •  William Wayne Weems--A Salute From The Black Aces

  •  
  •  FIRST PRIZE--BIOGRAPHICAL NONFICTION 
  •  Carl Winderl--The Girl on the Cover of Seventeen
  • RUNNER-UP
  • Kay Harper--Danger Man
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher--Ebony and Ivory
  •  Isabel Bearman Bucher--Teachers
  •  Melissa Cronin--Code 309.81
  •  Richard Franklin Bishop--Elmer's Tune
  • Robert Booth--The Human Ladder


  •  FIRST PRIZE--TRAVEL NONFICTION (Tie)
  • Frank Mann--Jungle Cruise From Hell
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  Evan L. Balkan--On the Trail of the Tyrant
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  Celeste Leon--Finding Home
  •  Birgit Starmanns--Planes, Trains, Automobiles - And Chaos
  • Onie Grosshans--Selling Cabo San Lucas
  •  June Calender--To See The Queen


  • 2013 Winners
     
  •  FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION 
  •  Nancy Massand--This is a Public Bus
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  William Wayne Weems--A Life of Crime
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  Richard Franklin Bishop--The Night That The Franklin Died
  •  Brittany Arnold--Lost and Found
  •  Anna Kiefer--Life on Overdrive
  •  Lane Dooling--Love Cubed

  •  
  •  FIRST PRIZE--BIOGRAPHICAL NONFICTION 
  •  L. Rehfuss--He's Coming For Me
  • RUNNER-UP (Tie)
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher--Zia Susy's Fine Wine
  • Dick Miller--Physics is Phun
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Janann Giles--Mother's Diary
  •  Richard Franklin Bishop--My Friend Duane
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher--Caffe With Nona


  •  FIRST PRIZE--TRAVEL NONFICTION (Tie)
  • Dick Miller--My First Road Trip
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher--Happy Birthday To Me
  •  RUNNER-UP
  •  Kathleen Gallagher--A Matter of Ocean and Sky
  •  HONORABLE MENTION
  •  Ellie S. Thomas--AMTRAKING East to West (?)


  • 2012 Winners

     
  • FIRST PRIZE--NONFICTION TRAVEL STORY
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher--The Stream
  • RUNNER-UP (Tie)
  • Renee C. Johnson--Down The Rabbit Hole With Alice
  • Ellie S. Thomas--Alone, And on the Loneliest Road in America (?)
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Sheila Sowder--Hey! That's My Little Red Bag!
  • Steven Hunley--Flipper Does Tahiti

  •  
  • FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION 
  • Nancy Massand--Mechanics and Spelling
  • RUNNER-UP:
  • Sara Berelsman--The Light
  • HONORABLE MENTION:
  • Carol Kloskowski--Oak School
  • Rachel Jackson--Beggin' and Barterin'
  • James Sclater-- CoCola Before Church

  • 2011 Winners

     
  • FIRST PRIZE--NONFICTION TRAVEL STORY
  • Mary McIntosh--Christmas Breakfast in the Himalayas
  • RUNNER-UP (Tie)
  • Renee C. Johnson--What Is It About Paris?
  • Mary McIntosh--Along The Khyber Pass
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Nayanna Chakrbarty--The Himalayan Rhapsody
  • Ellie S. Thomas--Ramblin' Through Saranac (?)

  •  
  • FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION 
  • Megan Cooper--Shadow of Death
  • RUNNER-UP:
  • Gayle Thawley--If Only
  • HONORABLE MENTION:
  • Andrea Bowyer--Fear Transformed
  • Robert Flournoy--I Still Remember Tony
  • Steven Hunley--Two Stories (Martians in our Kitchen and Christmas 1952)
  • Lauren Jaworski--An Unexpected Gift


  • 2010 Winners

      FIRST PRIZE--NONFICTION TRAVEL STORY
  • Charlotte Houde Quimby--Burying Andrew
  • RUNNER-UP (Tie)
  • Mary McIntosh--SNAFU
  • Lowell Harp--Above the Rocks and Beneath the Stars
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Meredith Hodges-Boos--Given Names
  • Laurie Levinger--Mikvah

  •  
  • FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION (Tie)
  • Valerie Byron--Mr. Wrong
  • Peter Merkl--A Parent's Trilogy
  • RUNNER-UP:
  • Mary McIntosh--Piano Lessons
  • HONORABLE MENTION:
  • Laurie Levinger--Coach
  • Janis LeForge--The Awakening 
  •        

    2009 Winners
     
  • FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION
  • John Poole--Outstanding Debts (?)
  • RUNNER-UP
  • Dody Johnson--The Doctor Is Ready To See You
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Jason Brooks--Waffle House
  • Pam Mathews--A Walk With My Father

  •  
  • FIRST PRIZE--NONFICTION TRAVEL STORY
  • Jasmine Maharisi--Reconnecting: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • RUNNER-UP:
  • Jane Adams--Ni Hao (Talking Our Way Through China)
  • HONORABLE MENTION:
  • Hira Ayub Silat--Tsukuba Travel
  • Susy Kelly--Two Days in Memphis
  • Birgit Starmanns--Three - Tres - Trois Encounters

  •      
    2008 Winners
     
  • FIRST PRIZE--GENERAL NONFICTION
  • Kay Harper--When I Went to the Moon With a Wink and a Prayer
  • RUNNER-UP
  • Patricia Sheasley Sicilia--A Yankee in a Southern Karaoke Bar
  • HONORABLE MENTION
  • Gayle Thawley--A Confederate In the Cemetery
  • Megan Anderson--Mom 101

  •  
  • FIRST PRIZE--NONFICTION TRAVEL STORY
  • Mary McIntosh--My Serendipity Travels
  • RUNNER-UP (Tie):
  • Carol Kloskowski--Back To Nature
  • Rich Conley--Fraternity and Neruda at Lake Llanquihue
  • HONORABLE MENTION:
  • Vanessa Stoffel--Lucky Drunk
  • Haila Eggleton-MacKay--Remembrance in Wool
  •    
       
    2007 Winners

    2006 Winners

    2005 Winners
    2004 Winners

    2003 Winners

    2002 Winners
    2001 Winners 2000 Winners
    CAT STORIESClick Here To See The Winners!

    1999 Winners
     
    1998 Winners

    CURRENT CONTESTS
    Writers interested in the 2019 competition for General Nonfiction and Travel Nonfiction (they close August 31) should:
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