Senior poets from across the nation are being honored as prize winners in the fourth annual Ageless Authors Writing Contest.

Gordon Smith, a retired public school science teacher from Hot Springs, Arkansas, won first prize with his whimsical account of a funeral, Tales from the Pulpit. Second prize was taken by professor emerita Joyce Thomas of Castleton, Vermont for her poem, Something Simple As. Third prize was taken by aspiring novelist Marilyn Mathis of Dallas, Texas for White Bird.

First prize winner Smith won a $300 cash award, a certificate of merit and the opportunity to be published in the group’s annual anthology. The other prize winners took similar awards, with $200 for second prize and $100 for third.

These results were announced today from the website of Ageless Authors, the largest international writers’ group for older writers and poets.

“Our submissions come from writers all over the world,” says Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors. “The winning poets are from all over the United States and Canada. They were the best from hundreds of submissions.”

The theme of this contest was Short … Everything. Submissions were accepted in three categories — short fiction, short nonfiction and poetry. The results of the prose categories will be announced in the coming days. 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:

Peggy Liuzzi, Syracuse, NY — Memento Mori 2019

Thomas Wilhite, Chesterfield, MO — The Muted Sun

Robert Rubino, Palo Alto, CA — Ten Examples of Poetry in Motion

Linda Hoagland, North Tazewell, VA — A Better Life

Linnea Boese, Detroit, MI — Alone in Snow

Cheryl Snow, Mulino, OR — What It Means to Become Old

Brenda Guyton, Dallas, TX — The Sad Melody of a Teenage Girl

Diann Logan, Arvada, CO — Idle Speculation

Nancy VanDusen, Palm Desert, CA — Tom Lee … 1925

Joyce Thomas earned a special poetry award of distinction for her haiku, Thaw. In addition, a number of submitters earned honorable mentions for their work, including Thomas Wilhite, Chesterfield, MO — Light Rain; Mary Hicks McReynolds, Eureka Springs, AR — Ethan; Joan Countryman, Philadelphia, PA — About Young Black Men; Mary Freeman, Dallas, TX — Endangered Species; Ben Weise, Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Enlightenment; Curt Harris, Albuquerque, NM — Portrait of a Lady; Celia Scully, Boise, ID — The Widower.

Everyone who submitted poetry 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. For more information, go to