The theme was red, and as our judges' notes explain, the reds came in all shades (including purplish).
We received just short of 400 entries to the 2007 Left Coast Writing Contest. They came from all over Tampa Bay and the Suncoast and were evenly divided between stories and poems. Poetry judge Gianna Russo was solely responsible for selecting the poetry winner and read all of the poems submitted. The fiction judging was a two-step process. Members of CL's Tampa and Sarasota editorial staffs (plus a newspaper editor visiting from Connecticut) read all of the stories and chose 15 as finalists; fiction judge Peter Meinke made his final selection from that group. The authors of those 15 stories were, in alphabetical order, Jim Austin, Mike Blakly, Rita Ciresi, Frank Drouzas, Kate Jones, Belea T. Keeney, John Langley, Rachel Moran, Michelle Oswald, Yuly Restrepo, Lee Schlesinger, Marina Shemwell, J.S. Sollazzo, John Whitmer and the winner, Monica Wrobel.
CL staffers Ashle Smith and Dawn Morgan removed authors' names from the entries before they went to the judges, so that none of us knew who wrote what we were reading. That makes it kind of an amazing coincidence that Monica Wrobel was also the winner of our last fiction competition, The Really Very Extremely Short Story Contest in February, 2004, when an entirely different set of staffers was doing the judging.
Or maybe it's no coincidence. Maybe it's just about talent.
Winners will receive cash prizes of $300 each, and both Monica and the poetry winner, Kurt Van Wilt, will read their work at public gatherings organized by CL in Sarasota and Tampa (see info box). The judges will read their work, too; we hope to see you there.
Congratulations to the winners and finalists, thank you to our judges, and thank you to everyone who entered. This represents a revival of the annual writing contest at the Loaf, so if you're happy it's back and you'd like to see it continue, please let us know.
Winners and judges' notes:
Adrian Wyllie was not mentioned. He is running for Governor.
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