Next 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.


Pattie Palmer-Baker of Portland, Oregon won first place in poetry with “Gangsters of the Portland Sky” and tied for second with “The Moon And I Are Drunk.” Pattie is also winner of the Bivona Prize for the outstanding effort in the entire contest this year.

Memoir Category

(Scroll down for other category winners)

First Prize 

What’s So Funny? A Love Story — Linda Boroff; Menlo Park CA

Second Prize

Visiting the Bone Man — Tish Davidson; Fremont CA

Third Prize

Bubble Gum — Evelyn Neil; Albuquerque, NM

Honorable Mention

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


Humor Category

First Prize

Nic Knuckles, Hard Luck Private Eye — William Ade; Burke, VA

Second Prize

He Called it a What? — Geoffrey Graves; Laguna Beach, CA

Third Prize

Estate Sale — Rosanne Gordon; Dallas, Texas

Honorable Mention

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


Adventure Category

First Prize

Mountain Rules — Robert Walton; King City CA

Second Prize

Tricky Kenya — Holli Irvine; Toronto ON Canada

Third Prize 

Joe’s Big Adventure — William French; Mentor OH

Honorable Mention

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


Romance category

First Prize

Remembering Teresa — R.F. Marazas; Belvidere, NJ

Second Prize

Meatloaf Madness — Belle Brett; Somerville, MA

Third Prize

The Last Norwegians on Russell Avenue — Debra J. Stone; Robbinsdale, MN

Honorable Mention

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


Poetry Category

First Prize

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

Third Prize

I Find It Odd — Gloria Klinger; Grand Haven MI

Honorable Mention

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?

Larry Upshaw

Within a few minutes of sending this email, I received an apology and a request that I continue this “labor of love.”