Many people gave up their time and effort to make this contest a success. Thanks to Second VP Jim Martin, President Dawn Allen, Conference Coordinator Natasha Hanova, and all our OWFI officers and Staff. A Special thanks to Vinita Eggers for putting up with my eccentricities in doing things financial, and to Inez Phillips for standing by just in case. None of this could have been possible without our hard working judges and category chairs. Finally, thank-you to all the entrants for your patience, understanding, and for sharing your talent.
— Tony LoPresti, First Vice President and 2015 Contest Chair

2015 Contest Sponsors and Donors

Crème de la Crème: Tulsa NightWriters (Award), Linda Apple (Trophy)

Full Category: Bartlesville WordWeavers, Norman Galaxy of Writers, Enid Writers Club – In Honor of Bobbie Mardis, Carol S. Hohnson, Green Country Rough Riters, Linda Apple, Anita Ann Champeaux, Bill Boudreau, Diane Dishman, Gwen Hewitt, A Murder of Storytellers, Richard & Brenda Drake, Books-A-Daisy, LLC, Sue McMurphy, The Inklings, SoonerCon, Anonymous

Half Category: Sandra Soli, Maria Veres and Family – In Honor of Monte Shepherd, Ada Writers

Unpublished Manuscript Awards

CATEGORY 1 – POETRY, UNRHYMED-SHORT – 36 ENTRIES

Judge: Kristyn Reid
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Thirty Miles East" by Kelly Bristow, The Inklings
SECOND PLACE: "Haiku" by Judith S. Rycroft, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: "Spanish Music" by Laura Edington, Member-at-Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Mon-A-Pause" by Lisa Marotta, The Inklings
2nd Honorable Mention: "When Daffodils Bloom" by Karen Kay Knauss, Member at Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "Single Home Improvement" by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy of Writers

CATEGORY 2 – POETRY, UNRHYMED-LONG – 37 ENTRIES

Judge: Maria Veres
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Drishi" by Lisa Marotta, The Inklings.
SECOND PLACE: "Where Angels Fear to Slouch" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large.
THIRD PLACE: "Pearls" by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy of Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "Numbers Game" by Kristyn Reid, Oklahoma Write Now
2nd Honorable Mention: "Upon Attending the Funeral of Your First Ex-Husband" By Lynda Stephenson, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
3rd Honorable Mention: "Widow" by Sarah Lonelodge, Member-at-Large

CATEGORY 3 – Poetry, Rhymed-Short – 29 Entries

Judge: Carol Hamilton
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "Transplanted" by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings
SECOND PLACE: "The Eclipse" by Abigail Singrey, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "Impatience" by Mari Farthing, The Inklings
1st Honorable Mention: "Icarus and Midas" by Adrean Messmer, A Murder of Storytellers
2nd Honorable Mention: "The Not So Great Outdoors" by Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 4 – Poetry, Rhymed-long– 28 Entries

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Carl Sennhenn
Category Chair: Carol Johnson
FIRST PLACE: "An Accident On Cobblestones" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: "Ribbon about a Bomb" by Kristyn Reid, Oklahoma Write Now
THIRD PLACE: "Book of Job – Rapper Version" by James Graham, Pen & Keyboard Writers
1st Honorable Mention: "Moonrise" by Judith S. Rycroft, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
2nd Honorable Mention: "Nature’s Best" by Shelley Ann Richter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 5 – Essay – 25 Entries

Judge: Julia Mozingo
Category Chair: Connie Blaylock
FIRST PLACE: “It’s a Sickness” by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: “You Can Go Home Again” by Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: “What Am I Doing With a Gun” by Marlys Gallager, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: “The Importance of Reading to the Young Child” by Una Townsend, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
2nd Honorable Mention: “Calling All English Teachers” by Mary Ann Kerl, McAlister’s McSherry Writers

CATEGORY 6 - Technical and/or How-To Article - 18 Entries

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Vivian Zabel
Category Chair: Eva Mahoney
FIRST PLACE: "How to Turn Ninety in Style" by Barbara Shepherd, Mid-Oklahoma Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Retreat on a Budget" by Maria Veres, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
THIRD PLACE: "How to Capture a Life Story" by Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters
1st Honorable Mention: "Teens Join the Fight: Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Project" by Donna Welsh Jones, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 7 - Feature Article: Nonfiction (Any Subject) - 11 Entries

Judge: Sylvia Forbes
Category Chair: Holly Jahangiri
FIRST PLACE: "Valor Proudly Sleeps" by Jeanie Horn, Arkansas Ridge Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Kidnaping at the Indian Meridian School" by David Roper, Midwest Pen & Ink
THIRD PLACE: "Escape from Viet Name" by Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: "My Wish for Your" Nequita Hanna, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 8 - Blog: Nonfiction - 38 ENTRIES

Judge: Dan Case
Category Chair: Arlene Graber
FIRST PLACE: "Permission to Piddle" by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings
SECOND PLACE: "How to Describe Deep Emotional Pain" by Vivian Zabel, Pen and Keyboard Writers
THIRD PLACE: "Six Tips to Make Treasure at Your Yard Sale" by Brandi Barnett, The Inklings

CATEGORY 9 - Inspirational Article - 27 ENTRIES

Judge: Linda Apple
Category Chair: Holly Jahangiri
FIRST PLACE: "Meandering on the River Walk-With a Stick" by David Hughes, Fort Worth Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Dragonflies From Heaven" by Cathy Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "The Best Antidepressant Has Four Paws and a Tongue" by Carolyn Leonard, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: "Lessons Learned" by Rita Durrett, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: "Ann" by Judith S. Rycroft, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 10 - Memoir/Nostalgia - 30 ENTRIES

Judge: Heather Davis
Category Chair: Sarah Lonelodge
FIRST PLACE: "I Remember" by Leatrice McKinney, Midwest Pen & Ink.
SECOND PLACE: "Comforting Eeyore" by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy of Writers.
THIRD PLACE: "The Best of Care" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers.
1st Honorable Mention: "Meeting Grandfather" by Christine Jarmole, Bartlesville WordWeavers.
2nd Honorable Mention: "I don't Want To Know" by Vivian Zabel, Pen and Keyboard Writers.
3rd Honorable Mention: "Autumn In Eureka" by Shelly Ann Richter, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 11 - Flash Fiction - 46 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Trisha Leigh
Category Chair: Jim Martin
FIRST PLACE: "Threading the Needle" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: "The #2 Pencil" by Holly Jahangiri, Pen & Keyboard Writers
THIRD PLACE: "Modern Hook-Up" by Bill Wetterman, Tulsa NightWriters
1st Honorable Mention: "Redemption" by Kelly Bristow, The Inklings
2nd Honorable Mention: "Living a Lie" by Ruth Poovey, Enid Writers
3rd Honorable Mention: "Safe" by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings
4th Honorable Mention: "Skin Deep" by Tracey Thompson, Member-at-Large

CATEGORY 12 - Short-Short Story (Adult): Fiction - 41 ENTRIES

Judge: Les Edgerton
Category Chair: Marsha Kay Oldham
FIRST PLACE: "Big Red Heart" by Pepper Hume, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: "Mystery Without Mozart" by Susan Cogan, Norman Galaxy of Writers
THIRD PLACE: "Send a Shout-Out" by Sandra Parsons, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Sitting at a Distance" by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy of Writers
2nd Honorable Mention: "The Hollow Man" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "Twisted Roots" by Jeanie Horn, Arkansas Ridge Writers
4th Honorable Mention: "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" by Mary Brannon, Norman Galaxy of Writers

CATEGORY 13 - Juvenile Short Story: Fiction - 15 ENTRIES

Judge: Diane Dishman
Category Chair: Eva Mahoney
FIRST PLACE: "The Soul of a Cheetah" by Renee Roberts, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: "Jake, the Barkingest Dog" by Jennifer McMurrain, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "A Goat Named Fay Ting" by Una Townsend, Member at Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Trouble on the Trail" by Abigail Singrey, Bartlesville WordWeavers

CATEGORY 14 - Young Adult Short Story: Fiction - 15 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Inez Phillips
Category Chair: Arlene Graber
FIRST PLACE: "Foolproof" by Jodi Thompson, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: "Sir William and the Dragon" by John Fowler, Member-at-Large
THIRD PLACE: "Eye of the Beholder" by Jennifer McMurrian, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: "Paolo's Bull" by Abigail Sinrey, Bartlesville WordWeavers

CATEGORY 15 - Short Story (Adult): Fiction - 31 ENTRIES

Judge: Richard Thomas
Category Chair: Cynthia Henzel
FIRST PLACE: "The Clockmaker" by David Hughes, Fort Worth Writers
SECOND PLACE: "The Oregon Trail" by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings
THIRD PLACE: "Chicken Skin" by Natasha Tinsley, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
1st Honorable Mention: "The Sacrifice" by Brenda Thomas, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.
2nd Honorable Mention: "What Was Hidden in the Watch" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large
3rd Honorable Mention: "Bewildered Beloved" by Cindy Molder, Bartlesville WordWeavers

CATEGORY 16 - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story: Fiction - 17 ENTRIES

Judge: Frank Steele
Category Chair: Connie Blaylock
FIRST PLACE: "The Dog Who Shat Diamonds" by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy or Writers
SECOND PLACE: "Cookie-Cutter Man" by Eloise Needleman, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: "Formidable" by Patrick McCully, Member-at-Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Treatment" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large

CATEGORY 17 - Horror Short Story: Fiction - 14 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Sarah Saint John
Category Chair: Julia Mozingo
FIRST PLACE: "The Resurrection Game" by Eric Reitan, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: "Of Noble Blood" by Erin Cochran, Member-at-Large
THRID PLACE: "Death Canyon Road" by Kim Rogers, Member-at-Large
1st Honorable Mention: "Getting Wet" by Adrean Messmer, A Murder of Storytellers

CATEGORY 18 - Prose Humor: Fiction or Nonfiction - 24 ENTRIES

Judge: Carol Shenold
Category Chair: Sarah Lonelodge
FIRST PLACE: "The Coolest Conquest" by Cathy Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
SECOND PLACE: "Mama's Meds" by Dee Dee Chumley, The Inklings
THIRD PLACE: "Lather Rinse Repeat" by Heather Davis, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: "At the Funeral" by Sally Jadlow, Kansas City Writers Group
2nd Honorable Mention: "Family Reunion at Razor Beach" by Marlys Gallagher, Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.

CATEGORY 19 - Play, Film, or TV Script - 9 ENTRIES

Judge: Amy Shojai
Category Chair: Diane Dishman
FIRST PLACE: Good Fences by Joshua Denker-Dake, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 20 - Picture Book: Fiction or Nonfiction (for ages 1-8) - 22 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Jacque Graham
Category Chair: Aleasha Shelnutt
FIRST PLACE: Miss Sallee Has a Zoolicious Adventure by Laura Edington, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: Mother Nature's Secret by Cathy Collar, Bartlesville WordWeavers
THIRD PLACE: Moxie May and Lulu Count the Days by Brandi Barnett, The Inklings
1st Honorable Mention: Digging Up Dinosaur Bones by Rita Durrett, Bartlesville WordWeavers
2nd Honorable Mention: Going to Babcia by Christine Jarmola, Bartlesville WordWeavers

CATEGORY 21 - Middle Grade Book: Fiction or Nonfiction - 11 ENTRIES

Judge: Brenda Drake
Category Chair: Aleasha Shelnutt
FIRST PLACE: Doll Cemetery by Cynthia Henzel, Member-at-Large
SECOND PLACE: Connie and the Underground Railroad by Ruth Poovey, Enid Writers
THIRD PLACE: The Dragon's Lair by Mary Coley, Tulsa NightWriters
1st Honorable Mention: Melvin the Mysterious by David Roper, Midwest Pen & Ink

CATEGORY 22 - Young Adult Novel: Fiction or Nonfiction - x ENTRIES

Judge: Leon Husock
Category Chair: Diane Dishman
FIRST PLACE: Scars by Erin Cochran, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: The Summer My Life Went Up in Smoke by Mary Coley, Tulsa NightWriters
THIRD PLACE: Black as Fear by Leatrice McKinney, Midwest Pen & Ink
1st Honorable Mention: Ten Things to Do Before I Die by Kim Rogers, Member-at-Large

CATEGORY 23 - New Adult Novel - 7 ENTRIES

Judge: Michelle Johnson
Category Chair: Kim Rogers
FIRST PLACE: Coveted by Leatrice McKinney, Midwest Pen & Ink

CATEGORY 24 - Mainstream Novel: Fiction - 12 ENTRIES

Judge: Velda Brotherton
Category Chair: Jim Laughter
FIRST PLACE: Unfinished Memories by Jeanie Horn, Arkansas Ridge Writers
SECOND PLACE: Holiday in Cambodia by Jodi Thompson, Member-at-Large
THIRD PLACE: Sold by Jennifer McMurrin, Bartlesville WordWeavers
1st Honorable Mention: Wish You Were Here by Dixie Maxwell, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 25 - Romance Novel - 7 ENTRIES

Judge: Michelle Johnson
Category Chair: Marsha Kay Oldham
FIRST PLACE: Tangled Promises by Linda Trout, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 26 - Historical Novel - 9 ENTRIES

Judge: Nikki Hanna
Category Chair: Sharon Worthey
FIRST PLACE: Wolves at Their Heels by Rex Griffin, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 27 - Mystery/Suspense Novel - 10 ENTRIES

Judge: Christine Jarmola
Category Chair: Sharon Worthey
FIRST PLACE: A Convenient Death by Erin Cochran, Member at large.
SECOND PLACE: Enemy Within by Evelyn Wilson-Martin, Pen and keyboard Writers.
THIRD PLACE: Devil's Plaything by Eloise Needleman, Bartlesville WordWeavers.
1st Honorable Mention: Bloodlines by Lynn Lipinski, Member at Large

CATEGORY 28 - Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel - 11 ENTRIES

Judge: Tabitha Shay
Category Chair: Jim Laughter
FIRST PLACE: Whereabouts Known by Margaret Hrenchen, Member at Large
SECOND PLACE: The Dragon and the Golden Hammer by Susan Cogan, Norman Galaxy of Writers
THIRD PLACE: Fantasy Fiction Spin: The Tale of Rumplestiltskin And the Miller's Braver Daughter by Katherine West, Norman Galaxy of Writers
1st Honorable Mention: Grassland by Joshua Danker-Dake, Tulsa NightWriters

CATEGORY 29 - Horror Novel - 4 ENTRIES

Judge: Carol Johnson
Category Chair: Julia Mozingo
FIRST PLACE: Psychopomp and Circumstance by Adrean Messmer, A Murder of Storytellers

CATEGORY 30 - Nonfiction Book - 7 ENTRIES

Judge: Eric  Reitan
Chair: Sandra Parsons
FIRST PLACE: The Story of My Two Lives by Pat Kelley, Green Country Rough Riters

Published Book Trophies

CATEGORY 31 - BEST JUVENILE BOOK - 8 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Vickey Malone Kennedy
Category Chair: Julia Mozingo
FIRST PLACE: Muddy Madelieine Meets an Arach-a Doo by Amanda Stone Norton, Fort Worth Writers

CATEGORY 32 - BEST NONFICTION BOOK - 10 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Mary Ann Kerl
Category Chair: Maria Veres
FIRST PLACE: Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery by Susan Croce Kelly, Member-at-Large

CATEGORY 33 - BEST POETRY BOOK - 5 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: William Bernhardt
Category Chair: Christine Jarmola
FIRST PLACE: Re-Writing History by Linda Neal Reising, Member at Large

CATEGORY 34 - BEST FICTION BOOK - 24 ENTRIES

Category Sponsor: Anonymous
Judge: Jen Nipps
Category Chair: Evelyn Wilson-Martin
FIRST PLACE: Daughter of the Howling Moon by Ruth Weeks, Arkansas Ridge Writers

Crème de la Crème

All first-place entries were read anonymously during the judging process for this award.

Judges: Marcia Preston, John Biggs, Vivian Zabel

Congratulations!

Renee Roberts: Member-at-Large, Fairland, Oklahoma
"The Soul of a Cheetah," Category 13 - Juvenile Short Story

About the Judges

Poetry, Unrhymed-Short: Kristyn Reid has won numerous poetry awards, including three first places in OWFI contests. Her poems and inspirational writings have been published in print and online media. Watershed, her first chapbook, was published in 2008, and her next book of poems is currently under construction. She works slowly—it will be ready when it’s ready.

Poetry, Unrhymed-Long: Maria Veres.

Poetry, Rhymed-Short: Carol Hamilton has received a Southwest Book Award, an Oklahoma Book Award, Cherubim Award, Pegasus Award, Chiron Review Chapbook Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, the Byline Literary Awards for both short story and poetry, and the Warren Keith Poetry Prize. She has published 17 books of poetry, legends, and children's novels. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize.

Poetry, Rhymed-Long: Retired professor Carl Sennhenn now teaches creative writing in Community Education at Rose State College.  A former Oklahoma Poet Laureatae (2001 - 2003), Sennhenn has twice been awarded the Oklahoma Center for the Book award in poetry.  His fifth book—Trespassing: Songs of Love...Coals of Kindness—is forthcoming in 2015.

Essay: A twenty-five-year veteran educator, now retired, Julia Mozingo has written professionally for over two and a half decades.  She's won awards, placed in contests, and published articles, poems, fillers, and a novel, which made the USA Today Bestseller list.  A member of several professional writing organizations, she's judged local, regional, and national contests.

Technical and/or How-To Article: As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian Zabel wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001, after retiring, she began to write full time and to write longer works. In 2007, she began 4RV Publishing. So far the company has released nearly 100 titles, has 75 authors, and numerous illustrator, editor, and other staff. Several titles have worn awards, including the Oklahoma Book Award in Fiction, a top finalist in the USA Best Books in Science Fiction, a Mom’s Choice Award, and a silver medal from Children’s Literary Classics. Vivian writes, edits, and heads the traditional publishing house. Vivian’s latest book, I Like Pink won the Silver Seal for the International Children's Literary Classics Awards and received the honor of being one of KARTS Book List Winners.

Feature Article: Nonfiction: Feature writer Sylvia Forbes has created stories on everything from Arizona dude ranches and Italian art to rural farmers. She's won dozens of writing awards and published hundreds of articles in such publications as The Christian Science Monitor, AAA Midwest Traveler, Herb Quarterly, Paddler Magazine, Missouri Life, Alabama Living, Discover MidAmerica, Outdoor Guide Magazine, Missouri Gardener, and TED.com.
Blog: Nonfiction: Dan Case sold his first magazine article in 1983 and has now written hundreds. In 1997, Dan started a website and newsletter for writers (Writing for DOLLARS!) which evolved into AWOC.COM Publishing (www.awoc.com). Besides operating the publishing company, Dan speaks at writer's groups and conferences around the country on BLOG writing, book marketing and other writing related subjects.

Inspirational Article: Linda Apple.

Memoir/Nostalgia: Short Stories: Heather Davis is an award-winning humorist, author of the best-selling TMI Mom series and much-requested public speaker. Her website is www.Heather-Davis.com, and she blogs at www.Minivan-Momma.com. She, her husband and their two daughters live in Bartlesville, OK. Her latest book, Life With Extra Cheese--Being The Ham in the Sandwich Generation, is set to release from Road Trip Media in mid-May 2015.

Flash Fiction: Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it's pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y'all. Most of the time. She's been writing seriously for over five years now and has published six YA novels and eight adult titles (as USA Today bestselling author Lyla Payne)

Short-Short Story (Adult): Les Edgerton is an ex-con, matriculating at Pendleton Reformatory in the sixties for burglary (plea-bargained down from multiple counts of burglary, armed robbery, strong-armed robbery and possession with intent). He’s since taken a vow of poverty (became a writer) with 18 books published, including two writer’s craft books, Finding Your Voice and Hooked. He holds a B.A. from IU and the MFA in Writing from Vermont College.

Juvenile Short Story: Fiction: Diane Dishman lives centrally dislocated from everywhere on a ranch located on the south central plains of the USA. Currently a member of the OKRWA chapter of RWA, she loves to write science-fantasy and romance novels and loves to study innovative sciences especially in the areas of space, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, & biotechnology.

Young Adult Short Story: Sarah Henning is a crime writer, recovering newshound, and word nerd of the highest order (aka a freelance copy editor). She has degrees in journalism and Spanish, and has worked for several news organizations, including The Associated Press, Kansas City Star, Charlotte Observer, and Palm Beach Post. She is repped by Rachel Ekstrom of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency

Short Story (Adult): Richard Thomas is the author of six books—Disintegration, The Breaker, The Soul Standard, Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, and Staring Into the Abyss. His 100+ stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, and Shivers VI. He is the editor of three anthologies: The New Black, The Lineup, and Burnt Tongues (with Chuck Palahniuk).

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story: Frank Steele has appeared in movies, TV and more than sixty stage appearances.  He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and has worked with Meryl Streep, Cher, Larry Hagman and many others of the acting community.  He is a produced playwright  having written two musicals, dramas, and comedies.  he has judges many categories for OWFI as well as other contests.

Horror Short Story: Author Sarah Saint John has a love for the dark side, but also an optimism that refuses to be quenched. As Editor of The World of Myth online magazine http://theworldofmyth.com, she enjoys the chance to read other author’s work and relishes the opportunity to help those authors get their writing out to the readers. As an author, she has two published novels and over 17 published short stories. Her novels Blood Atonement and Trust the Night are available online at http://www.samhainpublishing.com and for Kindle. Her story collection Black Hearts & Read Blood Dreams is available through Smashwords. Sara may be found at www.sara-saint-john.com.

Prose Humor: Fiction or Nonfiction: Carol Shenold is a full time writer and writes both fiction and nonfiction. She has had short nonfiction and text books published as well as two mysteries in The Tali Cates series: “Privy to Murder” and “Bloody Murder,” and an urban fantasy called Fairy Dust. Carol also teaches freelance writing and writes continuing education courses for nurses. Last year she was a presenter on a panel for Thrillerfest. In her spare time, Carol plays the hammered dulcimer, paints pastel portraits and lives with her daughter, a poodle and a tabby cat.

Play, Film, or TV Script: Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and author of 30 nonfiction and fiction pet-centric books, including Lost and Found and Hide and Seek, thrillers that include dog viewpoint. She’s also a composer, playwright and actor and has collaborated with Frank Steele to co-write, direct and produce three musical theater productions. Most recently, she combined her love of pets, music and theater when she and Frank co-wrote, directed and produced, “Strays, The Musical” to enthusiastic audiences in Sherman, Texas. Amy also is a past OWFI president and is delighted to share sessions about collaboration, playwriting techniques and pet-centric tips. Follow Amy's blog (Shojai/Steele play info) at http://AmyShojai.com

Picture Book: Jacque Graham has been writing poetry, essays, and short stories since her early high school days.  Retiring after teaching high school English (including poetry), Speech, Drama, Debate, Mock Trial and Student Congress, she was one of eight poets who contributed to an anthology of poetry, Walking the Earth: Life’s Perspectives in Poetry.

Middle Grade Book: Brenda Drake hosts workshops and contests such as Pitch Wars and #PitMad. When she’s not writing she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment). She’s represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary. Look for her upcoming novels from Entangled Teen Touching Fate and Library Jumpers, releasing in 2015.

Young Adult Novel: Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Leon Husock was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. He has a BA in Literature from Bard College and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. He has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels filled with strong characters and original premises, but keeps an open mind for anything that catches his eye. 

New Adult Novel: Michelle Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency, and also the author of Divinity, released September of 2014. She has a background in business and bookselling, has been a freelance editor for small presses, and has also run a community writers' center in Virginia Beach before becoming an agent.

Mainstream Novel: Velda Brotherton has been writing fiction and nonfiction for almost 30 years. Besides 25 published novels and books, and 18 short stories, her many articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines. She also teaches workshops and speaks at conferences on the craft of writing. Currently she co-chairs a large critique group that has been working with writers since 1985.

Romance Novel: Michelle Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency, and also the author of Divinity, released September of 2014. She has a background in business and bookselling, has been a freelance editor for small presses, and has also run a community writers' center in Virginia Beach before becoming an agent.

Historical Novel: Nikki Hanna, the 2013 Crème De La Crème winner, has three published books: Out of Iowa-Into Oklahoma, Leadership Savvy, and Capture Life.  Red Heels and Smokin' and Beyond Aging Well are targeted for release in 2014. Nikki speaks on women’s issues, capturing life stories, and Getting Your Moxie Back. Her seminar, Beyond Aging Well, inspires older people to make the third-trimester of life their best years.

Mystery/Suspense Novel: Christine Jarmola.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel: A member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc., Tabitha Shay has served as both a category chair and judge. Her books have been nominated for several awards, including the prestigious P.E.A.R.L. Award for Witch’s Magic and Witch’s Moon, which was also nominated for Best All Around Paranormal in 2008. Witch’s Fire won Runner Up for Best Paranormal Book of 2010 at LRC. Her latest release is a paranormal historical titled, Send Him an Angel, book one in the Angels of Deadwood Gulch Series. Ms. Shay also writes under the name, Jaydyn Chelcee, and is the author of the contemporary western romances, Montana Men Series, In the Arms of Danger, No Holds Barred, Too Hot to Handle/Too Close to the Fire, Playing for Keeps, and Wild. http://www.tabithashay.com/, http://www.secretcravingspublishing.com/, http://www.jaydynchelcee.com

Horror Novel: Carol Johnson is assistant professor of English at the Southeast Campus of Tulsa Community College, where she has taught composition, literature, and creative writing for 13 years. She is the author of two books, the last of which was a finalist in fiction for the Oklahoma Book Award. She graduated from TCC, Northeastern State University, and the University of Tulsa, and recently received her MFA from the University of Oklahoma City. She lives in Tulsa with her husband and assorted cats.

Nonfiction Book: Eric Reitan, an OWFI Crème-de-la-Crème winner, teaches philosophy at Oklahoma State University and is the author of two books: Is God a Delusion? (named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2009) and God’s Final Victory. Other writings include numerous essays on religion and ethics, as well as short stories in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and elsewhere.

Best Juvenile Book Award: Vickey Malone Kennedy is Editor-In-Chief for 4RV Publishing, 4RV Publishing an author at Yard Dog Press, Yard Dog Press a former OWFI President, Winner of the 2011 OWFI Crème De La Crème Award, and the winner of the 2011 Darrell Award for Best Mid-South Short Story.

Best Nonfiction Book Award: Mary Ann Kerl published over 2,000 articles to over 100 publishers, including Family Circle, Home Life, Children's Digest, Writer's Digest and others. She sold 16 books to royalty-paying publishers. Since 2006, she has been teaching English, journalism and communication courses for the University of Phoenix. After she gets her doctoral degree, she plans to keep writing and teaching.

Best Book of Poetry Award: William Bernhardt is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-five novels, three children's books, the Shine young adult series, the Red Sneaker Series of nonfiction books on writing, and a book of poetry, The White Bird.

Best Book of Fiction Award: Jen Nipps is the author of Windsong & Other Poems and has won several awards with her poetry. One of her most recent awards was the OCW Poet Laureate Award from the Ozark Creative Writers, Inc., contest, given in honor of Arkansas Poet Laureate Peggy Vining.

Crème-de-la-Crème Judges

Marcia Preston’s first novels were mysteries featuring the daughter of a Gypsy mother and a redneck Father. One of these won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for suspense fiction. Marcia herself is neither a Gypsy nor a redneck, just a Democrat. For twenty years, Marcia edited and published ByLine, a nation magazine for freelance writers. She also wrote for a long list of national magazines before becoming a full-time novelist. She now writes mainstream novels centered on issues important to families and women readers. The Butterfly house hit #1 on the Heatseekers bestseller in England and has sold widely in Europe. Marcia is an experienced speaker for writers’ conferences, libraries, book clubs, and civic groups. A member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Blue Star Mothers (mothers of active military), and National Association of Royalty Owners, she is a past-present and Honorary Life Member of the statewide Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc.

John Biggs has published sixty short stories in a wide variety of genres. He was the grand prize winner of the 80th annual Writer's Digest competition and Crème de la Crème winner at the 2012 OWFI conference. He has published two novels, Owl Dreams and Popsicle Styx, and expects to have three more books released next year.

As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian Zabel wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001, after retiring, she began to write full time and to write longer works. In 2007, she began 4RV Publishing. So far the company has released nearly 100 titles, has 75 authors, and numerous illustrator, editor, and other staff. Several titles have worn awards, including the Oklahoma Book Award in Fiction, a top finalist in the USA Best Books in Science Fiction, a Mom’s Choice Award, and a silver medal from Children’s Literary Classics. Vivian writes, edits, and heads the traditional publishing house. Vivian’s latest book, I Like Pink won the Silver Seal for the International Children's Literary Classics Awards and received the honor of being one of KARTS Book List Winners.

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