The awards were presented May 8th at an event at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. The Canadian Authors Association-National Capital Region sponsored first prize, the Ottawa Citizen sponsored 2nd prize, and Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeebar, the 3rd. After the presentations, the First, Second and Third prize winners each read their winning piece.
The contest was open to any writer within the National Capital Region. It is blind-judged. Each manuscript is coded when received by the branch contest co-ordinator, then forwarded to the judges, who are selected from across Canada.
In a letter congratulating the finalists, Paul Sarkozy, Ottawa Citizen Vice President of Marketing and Reader Sales, noted: “As a champion for literacy and the written word, we at The Citizen believe the written word has always had its own unique value that spoken words do not capture. For example, written words have a preciseness and permanence about them which other forms of communication lack.”
This year’s Poetry category winners:
First Place: Joan McKay, Ottawa – In the Beginning
Second Place: Maureen Korp, Ottawa – Friday Afternoon
Third Place: Carol Stephen, Carleton Place – Walking in Thomson’s Red Sumac
Honorable mentions: Alison Griffith, Nepean – A Writer’s Page; Joan McKay, Ulster Crescent, Ottawa – In the Middle of this Century (Dust Covered), and Luminita Suse, Gloucester – Mammogram.
Short Story winners:
First Place: Ken McBeath, Perth – Walking the Tunnel
Second Place: Karen Massey, Ottawa – Tar Man
Third Place: James Hooper, Ottawa – The Shifting Sands
Honorable mentions: Dick Bourgeois-Doyle, Felicity Crescent, Ottawa – Sylvain et Les Senateurs; Roberta Jones, Rockhurst Road, Ottawa – The Stringhouse; André Narbonne, Stewart Street, Ottawa – My mother is in shadow at the top of the stairs, and Miriam Sciala, Lanark – Music Mag.
“The National Capital Writing Contest is the biggest event of our program year,” says Sharyn Heagle, President – National Capital Region (Ottawa) Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. Heagle says that the CAA encourages writers to test their skills against some of the best writers in the National Capital area. “Becoming a finalist in this contest is validation of your abilities as a writer.” She says it’s exciting to see the friends and family members who come out to the Awards Night in support of the finalists. “Writing is a lonely occupation and having that sort of visible support is a blessing for any writer.”