VWC Golden Nib Winners – 2014
First Place Ann M. Skelton – “Prairie Winds” (Chesapeake Bay Writers) Second Place Carolyn Rowland – “A Rite of Passage” (Riverside Writers) Third Place R.P. Barr – “Dinner Dishes” (Prince William Co. Writers)
First Place Kimberly Dalferes – “Once Again, Naked in Public” (Valley Writers Chapter) Second Place Sally Zakariya – “Lone Reader’s Society” (Northern Virginia Chapter) Third Place Erin Newton Wells – “The Price of a Pig” (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter) Hon. Mention Madalin Bickel – “Remembering Lee Chang's Million” (Riverside Writers Chapter)
Judge of all three categories/genres
Mary Carroll-Hackett, MFA Associate Professor, Creative Writing Editor, The Dos Passos Review Briery Creek Press The Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry Department of English & Modern Languages Longwood University
2014 VWC SUMMER SHORTS WRITING CONTEST WINNERS
2013 GOLDEN NIB WRITING CONTEST WINNERS
2013 SUMMER SHORTS WRITING CONTEST WINNERS
VWC ANNUAL MEETING ELECTIONS - November 3, 2012
2013 Board of Governors Nominees & Bios
President: Betsy Ashton
1st Vice President: Sara Robinson
2nd Vice President: Chuck Lumpkin
Treasurer: Christopher Evans
Recording Secretary: Laurie Jensen
Corresponding Secretary: Being restructured – to be left open at this time
2013-2015 Members-at-Large: Jack Ferguson, Michael Gunter and Becky Mushko
BETSY ASHTON is a free-lance feature journalist for a local weekly newspaper and a radio essayist on WVTF, the local NPR station. Her essays have appeared in local magazines and newspapers.
Born in Washington, DC, Betsy says she was raised by coyotes in the Malibu Hills, although her mother disputed that. After a conventional suburban life, she enrolled at UCLA in the Asian Studies department. Although her collegiate career was spent against a backdrop of the “Sixties,” she graduated in four years with academic honors and an expunged arrest record (for unlawful occupation of Federal properties).
Betsy went to graduate school at Keio University in Tokyo, where she took a special certificate in Japanese literature, before beginning her doctoral program in comparative literature at USC. If asked, she will remind you she always will “root for UCLA and anyone who plays USC.”
Betsy taught for eight years at Occidental College, USC, UCLA and Cal State Northridge. Falling victim to the Nixon shocks of reduced Federal funding for education, she left academia for the military-industrial world. Her professional resume includes such companies as Rand Corporation, LexisNexis, BearingPoint and Deloitte, her current “day job.” She has more than thirty years of experience in public relations, marketing and sales.
Betsy promotes writing through her participation in two writers groups, one critique group, and the Virginia Writers Club. A member of the Lake Writers and president of the Valley Writers, she writes fiction, mentors writers new to the groups, and attends as many conferences as she can, including the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, the Sedalia Writers Conference, and the James River Writers Conference. She also uses her public relations background to support not-for-profits including the Smith Mountain Arts Council.
When not working or writing, you will find her roaring around Virginia highways behind her husband Terry Naylor on his Yamaha, boating on Smith Mountain Lake, playing enthusiastic but bad golf, or reading on her deck. She lives on the lake with her husband of more than 25 years and their one-year-old cat Mocha.
CHRISTOPHER EVANS is a Project & Financial Manager for a defense contractor engaged in Navy initiatives. Over his 22 year career, he has worked for several Fortune 50 companies and governmental organizations as an External Auditor, Financial Manager and Six Sigma Black Belt.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Christopher grew up on his family’s dairy farm in rural Campbell County, where it was originally established in 1754. Various branches of his family tree reach back to the 1620’s in both Virginia and Maryland. His rich family history has led to a lifelong interest in genealogical research, writing and reading works related to history, philosophy and religion.
Extensively involved in hereditary societies, Christopher has served in the capacity of Vice President (2 years), Treasurer (6 years), Secretary (6 years) and Historian (2 years) of several different organizations. In these leadership roles, he has planned many events including speaker receptions, membership meetings, formal dinners, a benefit ball and a statewide convention. Additionally, he has published monthly newsletters, produced membership directories and maintained organizational websites.
Christopher recently finished his first novel entitled Legacy, the first book in his Crusader series. He is currently searching for the appropriate literary agent to handle the project going forward.
JOHN (Jack) FERGUSON is from central Pennsylvania where he earned a BS degree from Penn State in Agricultural Economics. He has worked in the green industry and in health care and served in the VA Army National Guard as a field medic and an OR specialist. He currently works with the sales department of an import car dealership. His writing includes poetry, mysteries and the macabre. He is father of two awesome kids and “husband of a tolerant wife.”
At age ten, MICHAEL GUNTER saw his first episode of "The Twilight Zone" and got hooked on mystery. At eighteen, he had an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed the course of his life. In 2001, he discovered his passion for writing. Michael writes about the mysteries of life from a Christian perspective. He has written five non-fiction books, two novels, and numerous short-stories and essays. His short-story, "One of a Million Things," was runner-up in CJM Books’ Colonnade Writing Contest and was included in their 2011 anthology. He is editing his third novel, a sequel to BLACKWELL: The Encounter Begins. When Michael isn’t writing, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and re-filling his favorite coffee cup.
LAURIE JENSEN is an editor, writer, certified teacher with 20+ years experience and small business owner. Additionally, she cherishes her more important roles as wife and mother. An appreciation of good com-munication, in all its various forms, is the cornerstone of her home-based business, Anne’s River Media. She provides editing, proofreading and research services for Virginia writers on both fiction and nonfiction projects and also serves as a proofreader for CreateSpace Publishing Services. Her writing has been featured in special sections of Charlottesville’s Daily Progress, Rural Virginian, Homestyle and Charlottesville Woman.
CHUCK LUMPKIN, born and raised in Virginia, is married to Sue Patterson and has three children - Bert, Chris and Whitney. He graduated from VA Tech in 1964 and taught one year at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, VA. He has served as Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Moore's Super Stores in Roanoke, VA, and then General Manager of City Mill in Honolulu, HI, 1975-1980. He moved to Auckland, New Zealand, in 1980 and founded Apex Manufacturing, Apex Computer Systems and Apex Marketing. He developed software and manufactured off-track betting hardware and software. After selling the company to a public company, he returned to the US in 1989 to New Orleans. He founded PC Training Clinic and trained real estate agents on how to use computers for marketing. In 1993, he formed Parallax Corporation, an IT consulting firm. In 2003, he retired and moved to Smith Mountain Lake, VA, where he joined the Lake Writers, became President in January 2011, and then become a Board Member of the Smith Mountain Arts Council, In 2011, he also joined the Virginia Writers Club and became 2nd VP in 2012.
BECKY MUSHKO, author of Ferradiddledumday and Stuck, won the Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest (five times) and the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest (three times), was nominated for a 1997 Pushcart Prize, and won two categories of the infamous Bulwer-Lytton Bad Fiction Contest --“Worst Western” (1998) and “Vile Pun” (2008). Her work appears in A Cup of Comfort for Writers, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, and Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Vols. II & III.
After retiring from Roanoke City Schools, she taught English at Ferrum College and was 2006-07 writer-in-residence for Roanoke County Schools. She currently serves as recording secretary for the Virginia Writers Club and vice-president of both Lake Writers and the Franklin County Library Board of Trustees.
SARA ROBINSON released her second book, Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool (Cedar Creek Publishing) in March, 2012. This collection of poetry tells of her life experiences from growing up in a small town to how she sees the world today in her later years. Two poems contained in the book won prizes from the Blue Ridge Writers Chapter and the Virginia Writers Club. She is also published in the journal of the Poetry Society of Virginia. Her inaugural work, Love Always, Hobby and Jessie (2009), is a memoir about her famous photographer father and his marriage to her enigmatic mother. Sara has appeared on Artist First Radio Network, the Hilda Ward show, Artistic Expressions, and at numerous book signing events. Born and raised in Elkton, VA, she makes her home near Charlottesville, VA and is a member of the Virginia Writers’ Club, The Blue Ridge Writers’ Chapter, The Poetry Society of Virginia, the Academy of American Poets, and the National League of American Pen Women.
2012 VWC Spring Shorts Writing Contest Winners
FIRST PLACE - "Six Children" by Larry Turner - Fredericksburg, VA
SECOND PLACE - "Waiting for the Ferry at Fort Morgan" by James F. Gaines - Fredericksburg, VA
THIRD PLACE - "Cliff" by Bruce Slater - Richmond, VA
FIRST PLACE - "A Book of Stamps" by Claudia Ware - Morristown, TN
SECOND PLACE - "Komachien" by Rebeca Chapa - Fairfax, VA
THIRD PLACE - "He Sat Alone" by Betsy Ashton - Moneta, VA
FIRST PLACE - "Get the Bitch" by Esther Whitman Johnson - Roanoke, VA
SECOND PLACE - "No Service" by Linda Hudson Hoagland - North Tazewell, VA
THIRD PLACE - "Home Invasion" by Betsy Ashton - Moneta, VA