right here, write now

2013 Writers’ Competition Winners & Judges

Thanks so much both to the dozens of outstanding entrants in our Writers’ Competition, and the dedicated crew of volunteer judges who generously gave hours of their time to read, consider and critique the contest entries.   And, of course, a big thanks goes to Alcoa, the annual corporate sponsor of the $1,200 in prize money.  It was another fabulous year of writing submissions…can’t wait for 2014!


Laura Hoyt has been a Washington veterinarian for nearly 28 years, and now with kids grown and away, reading more books is on her bucket list. But she has always loved writing poetry and short stories, saying “they are like painting with words and a nice meditation away from the stress of my work.“ She was inspired to write by the sometimes tragic yet inspiring stories she heard from elderly war veterans, including her father.

Carolyn Johnson has made a career in nursing, currently at Columbia Valley Community Health. She’s been a solo traveler throughout Europe, especially in France studying food and wine, journalling all the while.  Carolyn says that in 2012 some influential WOTR conference presenters “inspired me to just keep trying and to keep writing,” and her local writers group encouraged her to submit her piece.

Barb Miller is a past WOTR winner. Retired from classroom teaching, she now does corporate training. She has lived in states throughout the Northwest and enjoys exploring the outback with her husband.  Barb writes fiction for adults and children; she has recently published a children’s chapter book and placed well with a short story in the 2012 Writers Digest competition.

Tiffany Pitts used to be a molecular biologist but gave up after one too many autopsies. Now she spends her time writing science fiction. She also writes about her two enterprising children, her ailing auntie and a levitating dog at Snickerpants.com. When she has free time, she tends to sit down and worry about what the children are plotting next.

Mary Anne Ruddis made big steps toward a career in journalism after moving to Spokane in 1995, and still writes blogs and web content. However, the loss of her two children has moved her to full time directorship of the American Childhood Cancer Organization of the Inland Northwest. She is still passionate about writing professionally and says she is “once again picking up the pen.”

Matthew Sullivan grew up among seven brothers and sisters, with a strong desire for peace and quiet which he finally found in his writing.  A fanatical bicyclist, he teaches English at Big Bend Community College. His prize-winning stories have appeared in a number of journals, and he’s recently written a literary mystery novel set in a Denver bookstore.

 Corneil  Vicirca has loved writing and storytelling since elementary school in New Mexico. She worked with words in the TV industry in Texas and Oregon, and then went into media relations and even more writing. She’s now the four-state marketing director for a senior living company. For the past 16 years she’s been traveling and living across the west, finally settling in Wenatchee.


Kathi Rivers Shannon, a previous competition winner, writes fiction and nonfiction and teaches English at WVC. . . *Andrew Behler, who taught non-English speakers and has owned and operated a tutoring center, currently teaches at Wenatchee Valley College.  .  .Karen Bonaudi is a poetry, song and feature writer, a web publisher and marketing consultant. . .*Rebecca Hargrove, a scholar of minority literature, teaches writing in the English department at WVC and is addicted to audio novels. .  . *Orin Melvin has been actively writing for Mirror Northwest  and Writers University and is currently involved with Write on the River and a local writer’s group. .  .Mark Neher, humorist and storyteller, has published three books and avidly lives and learns so he can write more. .  . Mary Resk is a Wenatchee-based educator, writer, traveler, athlete, volunteer, and soon-to-be new mom. . . *Jim Russell writes a weekly column for the Douglas County Empire Press, articles for The Good Life and children’s stories for his church. . . Pat Rutledge, formerly a New York editor, for years has heartily promoted books and literary artists at A Book For All Seasons in Leavenworth. . . *John Taylor has been a newspaper and magazine writer and editor for most of his life, all over the west, and is currently news editor at The Wenatchee World.      (*new this year)

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