The competition is now national, and this year’s winners reflect this, writing from as far away as Vancouver, BC and St. John’s, Nfld.
While the genres vary for each prize, some judge’s comments seem to reflect the competition as a whole.
Ken McGoogan, the judge for the fiction category, notes, “A lot of good entries . . . and I’m happy to report that choosing three winners was no easy task.”
This year’s winner in the poetry category is Katia Grubisic for her poem, “Off the floating dock, silvered.” Catherine Greenwood wins second for her poem “Nightwatch,” and Karen Davidson wins third place for, “Reaching for my father.”
Honourable mentions in this category go to Richard Toth, for “home place”; Daniella Pateman, for “Crows”; and Shane Neilson, for “Sonnet phoned from a cheap motel room.”
In the fiction category, the first place award goes to John Paciga, for his short story, “The Truth Guild.” The second place award goes to Alasdair McLean for “Fall in Paradise,” and third place to Sally Haxthow for, “The Book of Daniel.”
Esther Paul receives an honourable mention for “Blood Pressure Rising.”
In the writing for children category, entries may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or plays. This year’s winner is Anne Wessels for “Could You Be Attracted to Me?” Deb Loughead wins second place for, “It Happened!,” while Joyce Grant-Smith wins third place for, “Little Eagle.”
The Sheree Fitch prize alternates each year between the best work of either poetry or fiction written by a teenager. This year, the Sheree Fitch prize for poetry goes to Mathiew Charles Nini, for “Our Best Friend Humans’ – Bane, The Money Poem.” The second prize in this category goes to Andrea Davidson, for her poem, “Twisting the Knife.” Third prize goes to Rachel Frazer, for her poem, “Dear Mother.”
For the David Adams Richards prize, an award for a collection of short stories or a substantial portion of a longer novel, this year’s winner is Michelle Butler Hallet for, “Obliged to Drink Bad Water.” Honourable mention goes to Yasuko Thanh for “Frankie Hates Reno.”
The Alfred G. Bailey award is for a book-length poetry manuscript. This year’s winner is Sheri Benning, for “thin moon psalm.” Honourable mention goes to Alison Calder, for “Wolf Tree.”
The Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick will present awards to the winners of the 2004 Literary Competition at a literary gala to be held at the Rodd Miramichi River, Miramichi, 7PM Saturday, April 17.
Many thanks to this years judges, Dave Margoshes, Ken McGoogan, Kevin Major, Laurence Hutchman, Michael Crummey, and Aislinn Hunter. Thank you to all those who entered, and a special congratulations to all this year’s winners.