HONORING OUR 2019 CONTEST WINNERSNext Contest Scheduled this Fall
Below are our 2019 Ageless Authors Writing Contest Winners.
Check this page often for rules and guidelines for our next contest, scheduled this Fall.
(Scroll down for other category winners)
What’s So Funny? A Love Story — Linda Boroff; Menlo Park CA
Visiting the Bone Man — Tish Davidson; Fremont CA
Bubble Gum — Evelyn Neil; Albuquerque, NM
Moving On — Ellen Aubry; Pleasant Hill CA
One Last Laugh — Geoffrey Graves; Laguna Beach CA
The Cutest Boy — Ann Hurst; Evansville IN
The Platter — Molly Seale; Mandanko IL
Epiphany — Jerilyn McIntyre; Salt Lake City UT
Solemn Mysteries — Scooter Smith; Dallas TX
Beasts Outside the Window — Allen Whitt; Albuquerque, NM
A Midday Chat About Nothing — Lazar Trubman; Garner NC
Guns — Jeff Waters; Santa Fe NM
Autumn — JoAnn DiFranco; Oyster Bay NY
Castle Peak — Allen Boling; Grand Junction CO
Thank You For Your Service — Craig Etchison; Fort Ashby WV
Helen Unhinged — David Mathews; River Hills WI
Anticipation — Vivian Pisano; Berkeley CA
Glory Days — Dianne Ruff; Aurora OR
Nic Knuckles, Hard Luck Private Eye — William Ade; Burke, VA
He Called it a What? — Geoffrey Graves; Laguna Beach, CA
Estate Sale — Rosanne Gordon; Dallas, Texas
On Turning Eighty — Dr. Alan Balter; Northbrook, IL
Intenda Juice — Lisa Gray Fisher; Santa Fe, NM
The Fable of the Lovely Girl Who Made A Salad — Neil McKinnon; Burnaby BC, Canada
The White Blouse — Brenda Guyton; Dallas, TX
How I Fell For John Paul Jones — Margaret Liebchen; Altavista, VA
Noms de Guerre — Scooter Smith; Dallas, TX
The Bravest Man I Ever Knew — James Thierry; Middleboro, MA
Just Say No to Crossword Puzzles — Dee Dee Chumley; Edmond, OK
On the Ground Campaigning — Robert Nelis, Chicago, IL
Mildred and the Bird — Regina Mayerfield, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
How I Got Thrown Out of Aerobics Class — Michael Gigandet, Clarksville, TN
Milkman and His Horse — Frank Kozusko, Highlands, NJ
My Incredible Life — Neil McKinnon, Burnaby BC, Canada
Dryer Balls and the Beyond — Glenn Thaxton, Dallas, TX.
Again — Dianne Ruff, Aurora, OR
Be Here Now, Revised — Monique Stampleman, Milford, CT
Mountain Rules — Robert Walton; King City CA
Tricky Kenya — Holli Irvine; Toronto ON Canada
Joe’s Big Adventure — William French; Mentor OH
The Youngest Daredevil — Geoffrey Graves; Laguna Beach CA
The Eerie Apple Tree — Debra Northwat; Worcester MA
Kick the Clouds — Rita Juster; New York NY
Flying — Evelyn Neil; Albuquerque, NM
A Story Found From Yore — Tom Sheehan; Saugus MA
Bakatore — Rayna Bright; Woolgoolga, NSW Australia
Swimming With Sharks — Nadine York; Boise ID
The White Seagull — Olivia Godat; Olympia WA
Monkey See Monkey Go — Dennis Maulsby; Ames IA
Remembering Teresa — R.F. Marazas; Belvidere, NJ
Meatloaf Madness — Belle Brett; Somerville, MA
The Last Norwegians on Russell Avenue — Debra J. Stone; Robbinsdale, MN
A Door That Opens Into A Courtyard — Michael Kramer; Lacey, WA
Fan Fan Foo — Tank Gunner, Duncanville, Texas
Just A Friend of the Family — Geoffrey Graves, Laguna Beach, CA
Lemon Tree — Claire Hart-Palumbo; Houston, Texas
A Travel Story from the Word Go — Tom Sheehan; Saugus, MA
Cell Mates — Allen Lang; Chicago, IL
Crying — Judith R. Robinson; Pittsburgh, PA
Maybe It Was Love — Dr. Irving Greenfield; Staten Island, NY
Next — Lynda Palmer; Cedar Rapids, IA
Shadow Dancers — Michelle Ferrer; Plano, Texas
So Long, Soldier Boy — Chimp Robertson; Hooker, OK
The Thaw — Leah Lake; Austin, Texas
The Visitors — Tank Gunner; Duncanville, Texas
Gangsters of the Portland Sky — Pattie Palmer-Baker; Portland OR
Second Prize (tie)
Cosmic Confusion — Bo Niles; New York NY
The Moon and I Are Drunk — Pattie Palmer-Baker; Portland OR
I Find It Odd — Gloria Klinger; Grand Haven MI
Those More Innocent Days — Ida Lowenstein; San Mateo CA
River — Robert Swandby; Boise ID
Kiss For Judas — Donna Eason; Glen Burnie MD
Agelessly Aging — Stephen Dunn; Dallas TX
Kalinda and the Killing Fields — Ruth Mota; Watsonville CA
Spitting Out the Bones — Pat McCulloch; San Francisco CA
Love Me Wrinkled — Zandra Mink-Fuller; Burleson TX
The Paper Clip — Julane Borth; Oklahoma City OK
Dreams in Retirement — Carolyn Phillips; Princeton NJ
Victory Dance, 1945 — Nick Sweet; Shepherd TX
Do’s and Don’t’s of Entering the 2019 Ageless Authors Writing Contest
Make all contest submissions on Submittable.com, preferably through this website.
Submit poetry of no more than 50 lines.
Make sure fiction or nonfiction entries are no more than 3,500 words.
Save your entry (or entries) on a Windows-based computer or MAC as a .docx or .txt file.
Enter as many submissions as you like, but each story or poem must be a separate entry with a separate entry fee.
Submit all entries in Microsoft Word, double spaced if possible.
Pay the $20 entry fee for each story or poem. Every short story, essay or poem represents a separate entry that must be entered and paid for separately.
Make sure the title of the entry is the same at the top of the first page of the file and when submitting. Don’t change titles in midstream.
Make sure the name of entrant is the same throughout. You may be known under more than one name, but we only want one name.
Use nicknames or pseudonyms if you like, but use the same name throughout.
Provide a title page that includes:
Title of the entry
Word count of the entry
Name of entrant
Mailing address of entrant
Email address of entrant
Phone number of entrant
Bio of entrant
Make sure your bio is publication quality, no more than 100 words and written in third person.
Tell us about the entrant, not about the entry.
Pay attention to details, which are easily misplaced. In one story submitted to our first contest, five people were in a room. One by one, three of them left the room. What happened to the other two? We’ll never know. This was otherwise a very fine story that failed the test of detail.
Check your spelling before you submit your entry. All word processing programs, including every version of Word, contains a spell check.
Check your grammar. Most programs have this built in.
Reread your dialogue to make sure it’s how people actually talk.
Understand that by submitting an entry, you permit us to reprint and publish entry to promote you and/or the work of Ageless Authors in anthologies, news stories or critical reviews. We will coordinate those kinds of uses with you.
Don’t… submit directly to Ageless Authors by email or regular mail.
Don’t… provide page numbers. No footers or headers, no endnotes and especially no footnotes. We just want your creative writing, not sources or explanations of your writing. This makes editing easier if we select the work for publishing.
Don’t… enter with the idea that you can continue to work on your entry. Judging will be done throughout the contest, so writing cannot.
All contact information supplied with submissions can be used to inform entrants about future contests, anthologies or any other activity of Ageless Authors. We will never sell your contact info to a third party.
If you have any trouble submitting, ask your kids or grandkids. After all, you taught them how to use a spoon.
A Lament from Executive Director Larry Upshaw:
Most people who participate in Ageless Authors writing contests understand the requirements and limitations of our effort. They are, for the most part, grateful that we are able to make the offerings we do. But occasionally I receive an email like the following:
“Interesting. You have one of the highest entry fees for submissions/contests. And we are seniors. Most on fixed incomes. Jeez. What a shame.”
This one time, admittedly frustrated, I replied with this:
“And I have created Ageless Authors without the aid of a larger organization, which most other contest groups have. Our efforts are aimed at a relatively small group of writers age 65 and older ONLY. As far as we know, we are the only contests which operate exclusively for this group. I personally subsidize the workings of Ageless Authors each month. I hope some day to at least break even, but after three years of contests we still lose money because of costs of publicizing our efforts and of publishing.
“Everyone who helps our efforts is a volunteer, including my own many hundreds of hours on a continuing basis. We have recruited a stellar group of contest judges who read and evaluate the work. Most are writers, editors, teachers and experienced judges of other contests. We reward cash prizes, certificates and publishing to those who present the best work. Each contestant receives comments on his or her story or poem. We encourage each judge, if they are so inclined, to suggest ways that each submitter could improve their work. We look at each piece as a work in progress. We would like nothing better than to see that first-draft short story fleshed out into a novel or screenplay or a poem inspire the poet to produce an entire book of them.
“Constructive criticism and a pathway forward is something not every contest offers. In fact, you can get that kind of critique from other organizations, and that kind of service often costs $100 or more. And our research indicates that many who offer these services are very young and inexperienced, so we know that what we offer is worth the money.
“We average more than 300 entries from all over the world in each contest, so those who take part in this effort don’t believe this is “a shame.” We get comments all the time about how wonderful this is and how grateful people are to have this available.
Would you prefer we just not do it?
Within a few minutes of sending this email, I received an apology and a request that I continue this “labor of love.”