Denver-area essayist and magazine journalist Hugh Gardner has won the first annual Bivona Prize for bold, adventuresome writing by a senior writer.

His essay, Moon of the Popping Trees, is the top international prizewinner in the 2018 Ageless Authors Writing Contest. “This essay is a masterful piece of work by an accomplished professional with many decades of experience,” says Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors. “The piece succeeds on so many levels.”

Mr. Gardner, 75, of Idledale, Colorado, is a semi-retired social scientist and former investigative journalist, political consultant, conservationist, and fly fishing adventure writer. Over the years, his articles have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, The Nation, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Human Behavior, and Playboy.

His doctoral dissertation was published by St. Martin’s Press as The Children of Prosperity, a study of counter-culture communes in the 1970s. More than a hundred of his fishing stories have been published in The Rocky Mountain News, The Angling Report, Rocky Mountain Streamside, and Wild on the Fly.

Ageless Authors is the only organization dedicated exclusively to the promotion of writers age 65 and older. The group conducts a writing contest each year and the winning entries are published in an anthology of senior work. The Bivona Prize is named for the group’s co-founder, the late novelist and poet Ginnie Siena Bivona. Ms. Bivona and Mr. Upshaw created Ageless Authors to encourage older writers to be creative into their later years.

Ms. Bivona started writing in her late forties, after raising five children. Her first novel, Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party, was made into the 2009 made-for-TV movie, Bound By A Secret. Recent releases include a collection of short stories, The Secret Lives of Ordinary Women, and Reality Check, the Work of a Part-time Poet. She also wrote a humorous cookbook titled The Seductive Chef, A Cookbook & More for Lovers and Notes from a Chameleon, Sort of a Memoir, a finalist in the 2008 Eric Hoffer Awards. Ms. Bivona died last spring.

She was known as “the mother of Texana” as acquisitions editor of Republic of Texas Press, publishing some of the state’s best known writers. She is much beloved by many people in the writing community.

The Bivona Prize includes a cash award and publishing of the winning work. For more information, contact Larry Upshaw ( or visit