Expect to be entertained at the Central Oregon Writers Guild’s annual contest awards evening. A Celebration of Writing will be October 18 at 7:30pm with winning writers from throughout the state reading short works of fiction, nonfiction, mystery/detective, memoirs, science fiction/fantasy and poetry.
The event is the highlight of the Central Oregon Writing Guild’s seventh annual Harvest Writing Contest, which offers cash prizes to winning Oregon writers. Contest entries are at a record high as the contest gains in popularity and importance.
“Many of the entries wowed me with the talent and caliber of writing,” said M. (Mary) Pax, a successful Bend-area science fiction writer and one of the contest judges. “Many made me laugh out loud. Oregon writers are definitely a witty, passionate and skilled lot.”
Jami Carpenter, also on the judge’s panel said, “The stories and poems were wonderful, fun and entertaining and clever. The quality of writing amazed me. The topics ranged from the silly to the sublime, and kept me turning the pages. Central Oregon has a wealth of writing talent.”
Carpenter is a book editor who works with boutique publishers as well as with independent self-publishing writers.
Contest Chair Mike Rettig feels, “The unique and most powerful part of the contest is listening to the top-10 placers read their work in front of an audience.”
Last year’s awards evening was so popular, it outgrew its Redmond-area venue. As a result, this year’s celebration will be in Bend’s new Hampton Inn in the Old Mill District.
The venue can accommodate a larger audience and offers easy accessibility. The cost to attend is just $10. A no host beer and wine bar will add to the celebratory feel of the event.
Come cheer on your favorite writers, hear stories artfully told and find inspiration for your own creative work.
Pax notes that entering the contest in 2009 and 2013 motivated her to stretch her writing boundaries. “The first year I entered was the most significant,” she said.“The entry was the first short story I had written. I learned that writing short fiction is so much faster than novels. I started writing more of it and submitting to magazines and ezines. The feedback from editors was invaluable. It gave me a boost in confidence and made me rethink my approach to a writing career.”
Rettig, who has placed first and third in the contest, notes that previous top placers have ranged from college students to writers who have gone on to win Emmy awards.
The contest is just one way the guild provides support and education to area writers. The guild also offers monthly meetings, critique groups and workshops.