Gail Wilson Kenna Creative Nonfiction Prize Category
First Prize: $100…. Second Prize: $50…. Third Prize:…. $25
“Creative nonfiction is not making something up but making the most of what you have.” This statement is from the masterful writer, John McPhee. Annie Dillard writes of “time’s scrawl and your daring a necessity.” Her phrase speaks to our human need to shape and share experience through language. What the creative nonfiction writer enjoys is the freedom to use a fiction writer’s techniques: point-of-view, dialogue, multiple time frames. As the judge of this category, I would like to read truthful, authentic stories in 3000 or fewer words. I hope to hear a compelling voice, in whatever emotional register the writer chooses; and to read a vividly rendered story or narrative essay which lingers with me for its soul-making.
GAIL WILSON KENNA (Kilmarnock, VA) has taught literature and writing in university programs in Germany, Malaysia, Venezuela, Colombia, and four U.S. universities/colleges. Her contributions to magazines and newspapers are numerous, as have been her writing awards. In 2012 the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference awarded her the Donald Axinn fiction scholarship for a novel-in-progress. Gail’s five published books include Here to There and Back Again, The Story of a Contrary, Contumacious Cat, Along the Gold Rush Trail, used in adult ESL, Face of the Avila, written and published in Caracas, Venezuela, and Beyond the Wall, a compilation of essays about her four years of working with incarcerated North Americans in Venezuela’s infamous prisons. The book, awarded a Puffin Foundation grant in 2000, was distributed widely to journalists, policy makers, and organizations concerned with the ‘war on drugs’ in South America. Gail is a six-time winner in the National League of American Pen Women’s Biennial Letters Competition, including first place in the Journalism and Sandra Seaton Middle School Story categories. Her creative nonfiction entry, “Three Artists in Arrested Time,” was an overall second winner in the Vinnie Ream category. A native of California, Gail now resides on a creek of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay with her husband, three hours from D.C. where their adult daughters live.
- First Prize: Patricia Schultheis of Baltimore, MD
“In the Meantime”
- Second Prize: Sheila Kogan of Kensington, CA
- Third Prize: Matthew Felix of San Francisco, CA
“The Citroen & the Pomegranate”
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order)
Jen Burke Anderson of San Francisco, CA for “Daybreak Nation”
Francis M. Flavin of Sparks, NV for “At the Range”
Christina A. Hoag of Santa Monica, CA for “Where Are You From”
Jessica Tilley Hodgman of Roswell, GA for “Agnes & Muriel’s” and “All the Places I Have Loved You”
Anne Sigmon of Lafayette, CA for “Waiting for Alexander”