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Our Winning Writers


Write on the River is proud to announce the results of the 2019 Writers Competition!

These selected pieces represent tough choices made from dozens of fine submissions. Our judges were Holly Thorpe, Lindsay Francis, Melissa Campbell, Ben Seim, Mike Irwin and David Hammond, and you’ll see comments from them below.

Click here to read the winning entries. The writers will also be special guest presenters at the Wednesday, May 15 “Four Minutes of Fame.” (location to be announced)


First Place Nonfiction: “Lessons of The Light” Sande Langager (A beautifully-written piece that frames one woman’s faith in the magnificence of nature. A starry sky and mirror-like lake help reaffirm that God is in all things.) Sande, after success in high school journalism, article publication and teaching writing, is currently focusing on her dream, affirmed by this Write On The River prize that she is indeed a writer. She lives in Wenatchee and looks forward to future exploration of “the world through the writer’s lens.”



Second Place Nonfiction: John Gallanis, “Physician, Heal Thyself” (A heartfelt account of one man’s death, another man’s awakening and how healing occurs in many ways, on many levels. A hectic emergency room contrasts nicely with the tranquility of fly fishing). John retired to this area after 40 years of practicing Internal Medicine. He began writing nonfiction two years ago, stories that illustrate lessons from his patients on the meaning of life, and he is a previous competition winner. He says his wife motivates him, and authors from Write on the River and the Wenatchee Senior Center Writers Group inspire him.


Third Place Nonfiction: Susan Gillin, “Moving” (about the winding down of her mother’s life, and how decades of accumulated memories and objects can transfer from mother to daughter, from one life to another.)  Susan, formerly a reporter and editor at The Wenatchee World, now works for Chelan County PUD. She is a UW Honors English grad and an avid reader of contemporary and historical fiction. A previous competition winner, she dabbles in nonfiction and poetry writing in her not-so-spare time.


First Place Fiction: Tim Adams, “Fictions and Lies” (… vivid characters and clever dialogue, leave the reader curious and – thanks to the just-right infusion of dry humor – chuckling along to the pleasantly surprising finish.)  Tim is a former attorney and life-long history buff who has written about Carlson’s Raiders of WWII fame and recently began trying his hand at fiction. Tim and his wife April grow wine grapes on a small farm near Moses Lake where he works on producing the perfect batch of Bohemian lager homebrew.



Second Place Fiction: SaDonna Heathman, “Raven” (This creative and fast-paced first chapter introduces a magical universe, rife with danger and mystery. An intriguing introduction to a longer work of fantasy.)  SaDonna lives in Hartline where she is an herbalist and nutritionist. She has lots of opening chapters, keeps a fully-outlined novel on a giant blackboard in her writer’s shed, and finds writing “a creative outlet that nourishes my soul.” A former competition winner, she credits Write On The River as a catalyst for her work.


Third Place Fiction: Rose Weagant, “The Buskers” (an almost folkloric, panoramic glimpse into a fictitious town and its colorful residents. Playful and well-paced, the story has humor, surprise and charm.)  Rose relocated from the Gulf Coast to the town of Twisp, WA, in 2011 and has since written about her adventures in “the wonderful and strange Methow Valley.” Rose has been published in Hip Mama Magazine, GoLakeChelan, Wenatchee World, Methow Arts Quarterly and the Methow Grist.