Winners of festival writer competition announced

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 5, 2013

On Sept. 3, the On the Same Page Literary Festival committee announced the winners of its third annual Page Crafters Prize writing competition.

“The writers competition is an important part of the overall festival,” said Jane Lonon, executive director of the Ashe County Arts Council. “The festival’s purpose is to celebrate reading and writing and obviously writing is what leads to reading.”

The prize is given in three categories to the top two finishers. The categories are in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Lonon said a panel of three judges are assembled, one with an expertise in each category.

“We remove the cover, assign a number and that is what the judge gets,” she said.

Judges make their own criteria on what they were looking for with the winning entries and were free to make their own determination on who won.

Prizes total $900 with first place receiving $200 each and second place receiving $100 each. This year’s theme was “Secrets.”

Lonon said approximately 150 authors and poets nationwide submitted their work, and that it was an increase from previous years.

“We had submissions from all over the country,” she said. “It is a way to celebrate those emerging writers and reward them for their work.”

The winners for 2013 are:

Fiction – First: Claudette Cohen of Carolina Beach, Second: Liz Dowling-Sendor of Chapel Hill.

Nonfiction—First: Janet Pittard of West Jefferson, Second: Gene Hafer of Jefferson.

Poetry – First: Andrea O’Rourke of Atlanta, Second: Annehart Herrick of Fleetwood.

The winners will be recognized for their work at the Ashe County Public Library at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Lonon said five of the six winners will be on hand to read their material.

“That is really powerful,” she said. “I can read it and I can get something out of it, but when you hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak, that’s pretty neat.”

On the Same Page will take place Sept. 17-21, and will be occurring throughout West Jefferson.