2018 VWC Golden Nib Winners


1st Place: RIVERSIDE:  Alzheimer’s: The Zen Defense by Dan Walker

2nd Place: VALLEY: A BALLADE OF BITTER BEER by Richard Raymond III

3rd Place: BLUE RIDGE:    December in Belfast, Maine by Warren Groeger (writing as G. W. Wayne)


1st Place: VALLEY: CEREDO, WV, 1949 by Judy Light Ayyildiz

2nd Place: AAG: Cousins by Daniel C. Swanson

3rd Place: NORTHERN: How The Wind in the Willows Taught Me About Mortality by Jason E. Maddux    


1st Place: VALLEY: Unwilling Immigrant by Chandlee Offerman

2nd Place: RIVERSIDE: The Man With the Robot Leg by Judy Hill (Writing as J. Allen Hill)         

3rd Place:  HANOVER: As Luck Would Have It by Charles Tabb

2016 VWC Golden Nib Winners


First Place: Mary Duey Guy

Second Place: Harvey Tate

Third Place: Larry Turner


First Place: Ester Whitman Johnson

Second Place: Vic Brown

Third Place: Robin Traywick Williams


First Place: Phyllis A. Duncan

Second Place: Ester Whitman Johnson

Third Place: Vic Brown



1st  - “Suicide in the Box” – Esther Johnson

2nd  - “World Changing History Happens in Common Places” – Fred Fanning

3rd  - “To Speech or not to Speech” – John Koelsch
JUDGE- Phil Audibert has been writing feature articles and taking photographs for various publications ever since he was a teenager in the mid 1960's. Something of a jack of all trades (and self admitted master of none) he has also been a radio news director, cattle farmer, innkeeper, musician, and historical tour guide. Within the past ten years, he has been a regular contributor to the Virginia Sportsman magazine and his hometown weekly newspaper, the Orange County Review. It is there that he wrote a biweekly feature article known as "The Insider," which won numerous awards, including "Best in Show" from the Virginia Press Association in 2010. Most recently, he has turned his attention to producing video documentaries about local history, travel and the environment.
1st  - “In Geneva” – Esther Johnson
2nd  - “The Essence of Life” – Rod Vanderhoof
3rd  - “Driving to Front Royal” – Sally Zakariya
JUDGE – Patsy Anne Bickerstaff, B.A., J.D. is a poet and retired Administrative Law Judge. She has served as president of both the Virginia Writers Club and the Poetry Society of Virginia Her work has won numerous prizes, including the Robert Penn Warren poetry Prize, and has appeared in nearly 200 publications.  She is the author of two books of poetry, City Rain (Librado Press, 1989) and Mrs. Noah's Journal (San Francisco Bay Press, 2007).  She has taught poetry classes at the University of Richmond School of Continuing Education, is a regular contributor to the monthly publication of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Richmond, and currently leads an interstate Round Robin poetry critique group.  She has studied poetry writing at the University of Richmond, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Bread Loaf Writers' workshop of Middlebury College, Vermont.  
1st  - “The Red Dress” – Linda Hoagland
2nd - “Auntie Brit” – Jim Gaines
3rd - “Shutdown” – Carl Shirley
JUDGE – Susan Schwartz RN, MSN, MSHA has been an avid writer for around 10 years doing everything from writing freelance articles to editing manuscripts and medical competencies. She loves to write horror stories that have a twist at the end. Her short stories have been featured in anthologies such as Nightmare & Echoes I, Echoes II, and Echoes III. Susan has multiple projects in the works: a non-fiction book due for release in 2017 about the many haunted places in Charlottesville, and two novels--a paranormal romance and medical thriller. Her alter ego is a former Operating Room Nurse, current Nurse Educator, who loves creating tales from the interesting and weird things she has seen in her career. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Virginia Writers Club where she is serving as Co-President of the Richmond Chapter. In her spare time, she loves to read, crochet, and travel (as well as traipse through old graveyards and cemeteries).


NONFICTION—judged by Dan Verner

1st Place: Katherine Brown, Woodbridge, VA - "Gardening"

2nd Place: Joshua Moreno, Woodbridge, VA - "Blind"

3rd Place: Marwah Shuaib, Woodbridge, VA - "Karachi"

POETRY—judged by Zan Hailey

1st Place: Katherine Brown, Woodbridge, VA - "Lemon Cake"

2nd Place: Marwah Shuaib, Woodbridge, VA - "Sindh"

3rd Place: Kayleigh McCoy, Charlottesville, VA - "Sunrise from the Plane"

FICTION—judged by Garrett Carlson

1st Place: Katherine Brown, Woodbridge, VA - “Sleepless”

2nd Place: Abigail Weatherington, Woodbridge, VA - “A Brief Description of My First

Experience at Prom”

3rd Place: Anna Lobianco, Dyke, VA - “When Ink Corrupts the Soul”

2015 VWC Golden Nib Winners

1.  Ann K. Skelton, Chesapeake Bay Writers - Handsome Maides of Good Repute
2.  Esther Whitman Johnson, Valley Writers - Trucker Wanted
No third place prize awarded.

1.  Esther Whitman Johnson, Valley Writers - Short Weekend at the Hotel Torremolinos
2.  Gail Kenna, Chesapeake Bay Writers - One Face From the Shadows of Millions
No third place prize awarded.

1.  Barbara Stout, Valley Writers - Table for Two
2.  Judy Whitehill Witt, Richmond Chapter - Night Mood Music
3.  Linda Levokove, Blue Ridge Chapter - Chinese Food in Florence, Italy

Fiction:  Bonnie Holmberg
Non-fiction: Nancy Wolf
Poetry:  David Anthony Sam

2015 VWC Summer Shorts Writing Contest
WINNERS & Judge’s comments

1.    Linda Dobkins, Marion, VA - New Woman and Mad Dog: A wonderful character study set amid a traumatic situation
2.    John M. Wills, Fredericksburg, VA -  Monica’s Surprise: A clever, table-turning tale of revenge
3.    Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke, VA - The Artificial Mother: The roots of a dysfunctional relationship are examined during a turbulent confrontation
1.    Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke, VA - Tempest of Stuff: One person’s quest to take stock of what matters and get rid of what doesn’t
2.   Judy Whitehill Witt, Glen Allen, VA - Foolproof Recipe for a Mind Like a Steel Sieve: A comical metaphor for an aging, forgetful mind
3.    James F. Gaines, Fredericksburg, VA - Shifting Zones: An intriguing philosophical and sociological deconstruction of the Ferguson shooting incident
1.    Esther Whitman Johnson, Roanoke, VA - New Song for El Condor: A captivating poem full of history and wonder and despair over what has been lost
2.    Rod Vanderhoof, Fredericksburg, VA - Hawaiian Undertow: A beautiful sonnet using the sea as a setting for life and afterlife
3.   David Black, Louisa, VA -  For Plato and My Mother: A clever use of Stoic philosophy as a corollary for dealing with loss

Winning entries will be published in the 2016 VWC Online Anthology

BILL GLOSE is the book review editor for Virginia Living magazine and an award-winning writer whose honors include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Award, the Virginia Press Association First Place Award for Sports News Writing, and the Morgantown Chapter Award for Poetry. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Human Touch (San Francisco Bay Press, 2007) and Half a Man (FutureCycle Press, 2013), and editor of the story anthology, Ten Twisted Tales (San Francisco Bay Press, 2008).


VWC Golden Nib Winners – 2014


1st Place          Ann M. Skelton – “Prairie Winds”      (Chesapeake Bay Writers)        

2nd  Place      Carolyn Rowland – “A Rite of Passage”         (Riverside Writers)                             

3rd Place        R.P. Barr – “Dinner Dishes”             (Prince William Co. Writers)


1st Place         Kimberly Dalferes – “Once Again, Naked in Public”      (Valley Writers Chapter)       

2nd Place     Sally Zakariya – “Lone Reader’s Society”           (Northern Virginia Chapter)              

3rd 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)

1st  Place Sally Zakariya – “In Memoriam:Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles” (No .VA Chapter)

2nd Place Jody Hobbs Hesler – “Famine Cottages: Ireland 2009”   (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter)

3rd Place       Esther Whitman Johnson – “Polishing the Rhino”              (Valley Writers Chapter)        

Hon. Mention   Rod Vanderhoof – “The Echo Waltz: Eulogy for my Jo”   (Riverside Writers Chap)    


Judge of all three categories/genres   

Mary Carroll-Hackett, MFA                                                                                                                       Associate Professor, Creative Writing Editor, The Dos Passos ReviewBriery Creek Press                The Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry                                                                      Department of English & Modern Languages                                                                                       Longwood University




1st: "Driving the Blue Ridge in October" by Ann Skelton 
2nd: "When We Listened" by Sally Zakariya 
3rd: "Sand Castles" by James F. Gaines 
Honorable Mention: "Reaper" by Larry Turner
1st: "The Mongolian Hold" by Esther Johnson
2nd: "Nana's Arm" by Jean Lancaster 
3rd: "The Magic Shop" by Judy Witt 
Honorable Mention: "Peas Behind the Washer" by Kimberly L. Dalferes
Honorable Mention: "April Love" by Liz Williams
1st: "The Passing" by Julie Leverenz    
2nd: "Riding the Tortoise" by Esther Whitman Johnson
3rd: "Beneath My Hats" by Suzan Anderson
Honorable Mention: "Where We Fit In" by Stanley Trice
Honorable Mention: "Petite Small" by Elaine Ruggieri
Honorable Mention: "Lucky" by Jean Lancaster
Honorable Mention: "The Preacher's Daughter" by Susan Elliott



1st: "A Mother's Promise Kept" by Rudolph Keith Dunn (Richmond Chapter)
2nd: "Tupperware" by Jeanne Johansen (Chesapeake Bay Writers Chapter)
3rd: "A Fair-'E' Tale" by JoAnn Meaker (HanoverWriters Chapter)
1st: "Grave Dressing" by Rebecca D. Elswick (Appalachian Authors Guild Chapter)
2nd: "Tramp" by Patricia Asuncion (Blue Ridge Chapter)
3rd: "The Imaginary Ray" by John A. Bray (Chesapeake Bay Writers Chapter)

1st: "Concatenation" by Amelia L. Williams (Blue Ridge Chapter)
2nd: "Valedictory for G." by Sally Zakariya (Northern Virginia Chapter)
3rd: "Redemption" by Bruce Slater (Richmond Chapter)


1st: "Nibbles" by Hayleigh Phillips (Valley Writers Chapter)
2nd: "Machine Gun Wedding" by Sally Zakariya (Northern Virginia Chapter)
3rd: "Doctor's Dozen" by Esther Whitman Johnson (Valley Writers Chapter)
Honorable Mention: "The Case of the Grandmother in the Garden" by Julie Leverenz (Chesapeake Bay Writers)
Honorable Mention: "The Night I Was Forced To Play Poker With Government Agents" by James Lee (Northern Virginia Chapter)
1st: "Journey Into the Heart of Creativity" by Patricia Daly-Lipe (Northern Virginia Chapter)
2nd: "Taking the Water" by Jean Lancaster (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter)
3rd: "Exposed Temptations" by Kimberly J. Dalferes (Valley Writers Chapter)
Honorable Mention: "Hey Girl, Don't Scream" by Esther Whitman Johnson (Valley Writers Chapter)
Honorable Mention: "The Magic Shop" by Judy Whitehill Witt (Richmond Chapter)
1st: "Afire" by Judy Whitehill Witt (Richmond Chapter)
2nd: "Undertakers" by Barbara Stout (Valley Writers Chapter)
3rd: "When We Lived on R St." by Sally Zakariya (Northern Virginia Chapter)
Honorable Mention: "After the Spill" by Sharon L. Howard (Valley Writers Chapter)


2012 Golden Nib Contest Winners
1st: "The Nature of the Sun" by Jody Hobbs Hesler (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter)
2nd: "The Outer Masquerade" by Bob Mustin (Appalachian Authors Guild Chapter)
3rd: "Condemned Memories" by Don Waldy (Hampton Roads Chapter)
1st: "A Federal Case" by Donna Knox (Valley Writers Chapter)
2nd: "Tantilla" by Jean Lancaster (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter)
3rd: "The Burden of Silence" by Rebecca D. Elswick (Appalachian Authors Guild Chapter)
1st: "Heels" by R. L. Russis (Riverside Chapter)
2nd: "Trying on a Dead Wife's Clothes" by Barbara Stout (Valley Writers Chapter)
3rd: "Out of Chaos" by Gary D. Kessler (Blue Ridge Writers Chapter)
Awards were presented at the November 3rd VWC Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet in Richmond, VA.      

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

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