Ageless Authors honors 23 winning submissions in their highly competitive nonfiction category. Retired literature professor and world traveler Michael Riordan of Arlington, Texas took first prize with his story of a life reborn through an Asian adventure, “Horse Horse Tiger Tiger — The White-Haired Widower.”

Second prize was a tie between military writer Robert Robeson of Lincoln, NE (“Rejecting Rejection”) and celebrated poet Diana Woodcock of Midlothian, VA (“Life’s Silver Lining After Divorce”).  Third prize was also a tie between award-winning artist and writer BetteLou Tobin of Phoenix, AZ (“The Red Raincoat”) and painter and writer Marguerite McDole of McKinney, TX (“Discovery in the Garden”).

Riordan won a $300 cash award, a certificate of merit and the opportunity to be published in the group’s annual anthology for first prize. The other prize winners took $200 each for second prize and $100 each for third. These results were announced on the website of Ageless Authors, the largest international writers’ group for older writers and poets.

“We’ve never had a category that was this competitive,” says Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors. “Our judges selected the best from hundreds of submissions from all over the world. The judging was very tough. We were fortunate to have a large number of very experienced writers.”

The theme of this contest was Short … Everything. Submissions were accepted in three categories — short fiction, short nonfiction and poetry. Each of these categories was judged by a cadre of volunteer judges from around the world, including writers, poets, editors, educators and professional people.

In addition to the cash award winners, the following were finalists in the competition:

Loren Kelly, Royce City, TX — “Oilfield Dad”
Sue Fagalde Lick, South Beach, OR — “Behind the Microphone”
Nancy VanDusen, Palm Desert, CA — “The Gift”
Theresa Elders, Westminster, CA — “Sock it To Me!”
James E. McReynolds, Eureka Springs, AR — “He/She/They”
Samuel Matteson, Hermitage, TN — “The Yardsweepers“
Geoffrey Graves, Laguna Beach, CA — “The Wolfman, Psycho and Mom”
Thomas Donovan, Albany, NY — “Ring Philosophy”

Marguerite McDole of McKinney, TX won our special nonfiction award of distinction for her creative essay, “Five Sisters to Count On.” Based on their scores, a number of submitters who weren’t in line for cash awards earned honorable mentions for their work, including

Mary Koch, Omak, WA — “All Things Being Equal, They Are Not”
Carolyn Curtis, Palo Alto, CA — “Rite of Passage”
Loren Kelly, Royce City, TX — “Mighty Warriors of Valor”
Yvonne Wise, Albuquerque, NM — “Here’s the Church and Here’s the Steeple, Open the Door and Where’s the People?”
Allen Whitt, Albuquerque, NM — “Beasts Outside My Window”
Alexa Bradford, Dallas, TX — “The Lost Art”
Edward Myers, Washington, VT — “Rotas-Sator? Sator-Rotas”
Michael Riordan, Arlington, TX — “Damn Water Pill”
Nancy VanDusen, Palm Desert, CA — “Stigma”

Everyone who submitted entries to this contest will receive comments on their work within the next couple of months, once results have been tabulated and announced in all categories.