Well, actually, we have nine winners in three age categories in Sedona Public Library’s first-ever writing contest. Forty-four local writers came forward to help the Library celebrate its 60th anniversary with stories, poems, and essays. They all adhered to one important rule: the text must include the number 60. Congratulations to our winners, who found funny, scary, and insightful ways to follow this rule in their submissions.
We received manuscripts that included 60 minutes, bananas, days, activities, shoes, and twinkling stars. We had two Room 60s, the Sixty Spy Agency, and Agent Sarah Sixty. One essay tried to convince us that 60 is actually 40, and one poem included 22 rhymed couplets describing 60 library activities and programs. The judges’ response to the variety and talent? “Reading these was so fun!”
Thank you to everyone who submitted a manuscript. From 10 to 96 years old, our writers shared tremendous fiction, nonfiction, and poems. Here are the top three writers from each age group:
6–10 years old: First place went to Kyla-Jane Rogers for her story “The Haunting 60;” second place went to Miles Fuss for his story “The Bike Race;” and third place went to Clark Ortega for his poem “Snowy, My Cat.”
11–18 years old: First place went to Nora Fuss for her story “My Mother’s a Spy;” second place went to Anna Marie Gordon for her story “60 Days and Counting;” and third place went to Felicia Foldes for her poem “All Booked Up.”
Finally, in our adult category, age 19+, first place went to Willma Gore for her story “Bird in the Hand;” second place went to Ronald Goldberg for his essay “The Sedona Syndrome;” and third place went to Celeste Barrett Rubanick for her essay “Sixty Is Actually Forty.”
Please enjoy these excerpts from our winning manuscripts, and watch for publication of first-place winners on sedonalibrary.org.
“I slowly walked to the stairs and started climbing to the 13th floor. I was regretting it. I wasn’t a daredevil. I took a deep breath, when a white wispy image floated past me and through one of the many doors. I walked up to see what door it flew through. It was my room, Room 60.” (from “The Haunting 60,” by Kyla-Jane Rogers)
“Suddenly, large double doors at the other end of the huge room she was in, which appeared to be some sort of lobby, swung open. Instead of handles, these doors had the number sixty on them. One handle was shaped like a six, the other shaped like a zero . . . [A] woman stepped into the room. She looked older than Ava’s parents, but not old. Even though she didn’t have any wrinkles, her hair, worn in a neat and modern bob, was silver. ‘What’s going on in here?’ she asked.” (from “My Mother’s a Spy,” by Nora Fuss)
“My feather phobia well in place, I didn’t want to touch the bird but neither did I want to witness its demise . . . Positioning myself before the tall window, I was reluctant to touch the bird but it descended to where I could reach it, and I pinned it against the glass, with my right hand, actually connecting with dreaded feathers. My left hand automatically went ‘to help’ the right and I cupped the nearly weightless feathered body in my hands.” (from “Bird in the Hand,” by Willma Willis Gore)
Thanks to all of our participants, and special thanks to judges Janice LaDuke, Diane Phelps, and Kay Bork. First-place manuscripts will also be placed into our 60th anniversary time capsule. The capsule will be buried at a small ceremony on October 20, and writing contest prizes will be awarded later this month. Stay tuned for details.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are grateful for your gifts. Please support your library at www.sedonalibrary.org.
Sedona Public Library
Column for October 5, 2018
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on Sedona Biz.