Ahira Memorial Hall Library awards winning writers

OBSERVER Staff Report

PORTLAND — The first Ahira Memorial Hall Library Writing Contest will most assuredly not be the last, as organizers expressed their excitement for the quantity and quality of the writing submitted for the summer competition.

“Not only did we have such a great response, but the submissions were incredible,” said contest organizer and librarian Jenean Roth. “There’s a lot of talent out there and that was the whole point of the contest, to encourage people and their creativity.”

The contest was broken into two age categories: high school and adult; and include six creative writing style categories: haiku, narrative or free verse poetry; flash fiction; twitter story; first chapter; memoir; and young adult fiction.

Overall there were just under 50 submissions, Roth said, with one writer submitting from as far away as Bulgaria.

First through third-place winners were chosen via anonymous judging by current and retired English teachers and professors.

The winners, and their supporters, were invited to an award ceremony held at the library on Wednesday, Aug. 23. Six first-place sections were read aloud, and the authors were given gift bags containing journals and pens.

Two of the winning writers are published authors: Clark Zlotchew is the author of over 17 books, three of which are novels, including “The Caucasian Menace” (2010); Jessie Andersen is the author of a series of young adult novels called “Destiny By Design,” published by Brimstone Fiction.

The first place winners by category:

¯ Jesse Hannold: haiku poetry, untitled.

¯ Clark Zlotchew: free verse poetry, “Song of China.”

¯ Jessie Andersen: first chapter, “The Gene Rift.”

¯ Serenity Snyder: high school, first chapter: “Night Hunters.”

¯ Judy Shuler: flash fiction, “Hugelkultur.”

¯ Damian Sebouhian: memoir, “It’s Right Here.”

The Ahira Hall Memorial Library is currently accepting new members to their writing group, which meets on the second and fourth Mondays every month.

Last year, the group published an anthology of their work with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the library.

For more information call the library at 792-9418.