Writing competition winners, 2021

by admin Writing Competitions. Posted on March 31, 2021.

Write On The River is pleased to announce the six winners of the 2021 Writers Competition. The winners share $1,200 in cash awards and will be invited readers at the next Four Minutes of Fame open mic event. You can learn more about them and read their entries at writeontheriver.org.

The winning fiction entries are:

  • First Place: “The Piggly Wiggly” by Rose Weagant, Twisp
  • Second Place: “Candy” by John Taylor, Selah
  • Third Place: “Journal of a Soldier”” by Brandi Feeks, Moses Lake

The winning nonfiction entries are:

  • First Place: “Mountain Memories” by Mary Bean, Wenatchee
  • Second Place: “Apologies, Confessions, Questions” by Ronald Smith, Malaga
  • Third Place: “Transformation on the Trail” by Nancy Atkins, Chelan

This is the 14th year of the competition, which is open to any writer in eastern Washington (or any writer in the state who is a WOTR member).

To read the winning submissions, click HERE.


First Place: “The Piggly Wiggly” by Rose Weagant, Twisp

Rose a won third place in this competition in 2017 and says her wish is for five extra hours per day, “four to think about writing and one to write.”  She produced The Burn Project at the Merc Playhouse, hosted the Trashion Show and does public art for Black Lives Matter. She currently teaches art at Okanogan High School but has been a roller girl, theater designer, and gallery/bar owner. At their Arty Farms (which is “very wild, very loud, mostly feral”) she and her partner are starting a podcast called farmlings.



Second Place: “Candy” by John Taylor, Selah

“I decided I’d try to be a writer instead of a professional football player.” That was John’s goal  after positive reactions to his first piece of fiction, published in the fifth grade. Since then, he’s been a news reporter, feature writer, digital manager and editor, and is now working at the Yakima Herald-Republic with little time for fiction. Still, he generally sets aside an hour or so each night to write the opposite of journalism: short stories, mostly unshared, about the things that mean the most to him.



Third Place:  “Journal of a Soldier”” by Brandi Feeks, Moses Lake

“Holy cow! I’m really jazzed,” was Brandi’s first reaction to learning about her award. She’s been artistic all her life, with stories always in her head but found that “Corralling the imagination long enough to write a story start to finish” was a challenge. She’s working a day job while finishing up her art degree at Central Washington University.  She says work and life have gotten in the way of doing more oil painting and writing fantasy fiction and poetry, but she’s determined to make time for them soon.


First Place: “Mountain Memories” by Mary Bean, Wenatchee

At the University of Idaho, Mary was twice awarded first place in the College of Forestry’s Excellence in Writing Contest, received the Michael Frome Scholarship for Conservation Writing and published three works of nonfiction. After a long career in the National Park Service and the Forest Service she’s sought opportunities to grow her writing and has attended numerous workshops, including the Desert Writers’ Workshop, the Sitka Writers’ Symposium, Fish Trap, Haystack and several with Write On The River. Her most recently published piece was in the Good Life magazine.


Second Place: “Apologies, Confessions, Questions” by Ronald Smith, Malaga 

After moving to Alaska from the Southwest as a young man, Ron wrote frequently as a scientist and university faculty member. His books are Interior and Northern Alaska: A Natural History, How Not to Die Hunting in Alaska, and Undeserved Punishment, a novel, and his short nonfiction pieces have appeared in Watershed Review, Cirque and Entropy. He lives with his wife Martha, “between the basalt cliffs of the Cascade foothills and the Columbia River” and returns annually to Alaska to participate in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival’s creative writing workshop.


Third Place:  “Transformation on the Trail” by Nancy Atkins, Chelan

Nancy’s journalism degree led her to 30 years in Seattle writing for publishers, ad agencies, corporations and dot-coms. During that time, she also developed the curriculum for a learn-to-read program Superphonics and self-published the book Christmas Through Their Eyes.  She and her husband have retired to Chelan, where, inspired by her early love of the genre, she’s busy making and marketing picture books for children. She also writes poetry and been published regionally in Yakima Coffeehouse Poets anthologies, the Shrub-Steppe Poetry Journal  and the Dogs and Cats Reigning anthology.