Festival Staff / March 3, 2013
The Tucson Festival of Books is excited to announce the winners of its first writing competition for adults. Talented writers from Tucson, Santa Fe, NM, and Peoria, AZ, have captured first place in the festival’s Literary Awards Competition.
*Parke Cooper of Tucson, AZ finished first among fiction entries with a submission entitled “How to Not Regret It: A Step-by-Step Guide in Six Routines.”
*Beth Surdut of Santa Fe, NM won the non-fiction competition with “Listening to Raven.”
*Jia Oak Baker of Peoria, AZ won first prize among poets with “Coyote” and several other poems.
All three winners have been invited to take part in a panel discussion on Saturday, March 9, the first day of the 5th annual Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona. They have also been invited to participate in the festival’s first Masters Workshop, March 11 and 12, at the UA Poetry Center.
“Obviously, a book festival is very much about reading,” said Bill Viner, one of the festival’s founders. “But from the very beginning we thought there was a place for ‘writing,’ too. The response we have received in the first year of the awards competition is pretty overwhelming.”
Preliminary judging was done by four Tucson authors. They were Karen Brennan, Leila Halaby, Rebecca Seiferle and Alison Deming. Final judging was done by the five authors who will be featured at the Master’s Workshop. They are Larry Watson, Ann Hood, Bill Roorbach, Thomas Cobb and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Said Watson: “Man, judging these submissions was difficult. There were so many strong stories!”
The writing competition was managed and coordinated by Meg Files, who chairs the Department of English and Journalism at Pima College West. The UA College of Humanities is also a partner in the awards competition and Masters Workshop.
Here are the top three award-winners in each category of the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards Competition. First-place winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. Second-place entries will receive $500, with $250 being awarded for thirds.
1.Parke Cooper, Tucson, “Now to Not Regret It: A Step-by-Step Guide in Six Routines.”
2.David Munro, Tucson, “Canis Major.”
3.Linda Brewer, Tucson, “Careless Love.”
1.Beth Surdut, Santa Fe, NM, “Listening to Raven.”
2.Craig Reinbold, Tucson, “The Girl in the Photograph.”
3.Adam Hostetter, Tucson, “White Horse Days.”
1.Jia Oak Baker, Peoria, AZ, “Coyote.”
2.Linda Girardi, Washington, DC, “What I Love About Miami.”
3.Shelly Taylor, Tucson, “Lions, Remonstrance.”