Ageless Authors announces the very best senior short story writers in our fourth annual senior writing contest.

Playwright and screenplay writer Jean Yeager of Rutland, VT took first prize with his elegant and complex story, “Old Pirates of the Heart.” Second prize was won by writer and metalsmith Cathy Raphael of Pittsburgh, PA for her surprising “The Care and Propagation of Azaleas.” Third prize was a three-way tie among university professor Alan Balter of Northbrook, IL for “Rose and Me;” R.F. Marazas of Belvidere, NJ for “Father and Son Reunion;” and journalist Donna Reed of Champaign, IL for “Side by Side.”

Yeager is a frequent entrant in the Ageless Authors contests. He 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 for second prize and $100 for third. These results were announced from the website of Ageless Authors, the largest international writers’ group for older writers and poets.

“The competition in this category was incredibly tough,” says Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors. “Our judges selected the best from hundreds of submissions from all over the world.”

The theme of this contest was Short … Everything. Submissions were accepted in three categories — short fiction, short nonfiction and poetry. The results of the nonfiction category 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:

Rick Forbess, Springvale, ME — “Silver Anniversary”
Jack B. Rochester, Lexington, MA — “Men of Elected Eminence”
Leah Rae Lake, Austin, TX — “Tali’s Tale”
Sarah Blanchard, Raleigh, NC — “Fishing”
Evelyn Neil, Albuquerque, NM — “Red Horses”
Lynne Sebastian, Corrales, NM — “The Dude”
Robert McGinness, Columbia, SC — “Elderly Man Found Frozen”
Stephen Porter, Allen, TX — “Skating”
Tank Gunner, Duncanville, TX — “Our Real Life Gangster and Resident Loan Shark”

Geoffrey Graves of Laguna Beach, CA won a special award of distinction for his humorous short story, “The New Beekeeper.”

Based on their scores, a number of submitters earned honorable mention for their work, including

Amanda Joyce, Baltimore, MD — “The Docent”
Mary Hicks McReynolds, Eureka Springs, AR — “Overnight Delivery”
Donna Reed, Champaign, IL — “One Potato”
Roger Pendleton, Arlington, TX — “Grandpa Guy Meets a Chunky Punkie”
Sam Matteson, Hermitage, TN — “Hoecake”
Jill McDowell, Lacey, WA — “Jobless in Moscow”
Lilia Westmore, Sacramento, CA — “We Were Four”
Mariam Cronin, Fitchburg, MA — “Young Love”

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.