Ellen Nordberg, winner of the Readers’ Choice Award in the personal essay category, read from her touching essay “The Ambivalent Mother.” Her refreshing and honest prose about motherhood and everything it entails was a great addition to the community event. Ellen Nordberg writes humor columns for Boulder Lifestyle and Colorado Babies magazines. You can visit her website at www.ellennordberg.com.
Also reading from their works were Kelley J. Leigh and Sarah Brooks. Both women tied for first place for the Editor’s Choice Award in the essay category. Sarah Brooks read her essay “A Woman on Longs Peak” and took the audience on a journey with her as she followed the footsteps of the women of the past up to the top of the great and dangerous peak. Kelly J. Leigh read her essay “Remaining Artifacts,” a touching piece about how cleaning out her mother-in-law’s garage granted her catharsis. The celebration of local writing included food, friends, and stories.
Christina Antus was the winner of the Readers’ Choice Award for comedy with her essay “Gall-E-Gee.” This honest personification of her new and unfortunate acquaintance with her gallbladder brings light and humor to an unfortunate situation. Christina Antus lives in Denver with her husband, two daughters, and grossly over-exaggerated cat–who is the size of a small planet. After the birth of her first child, she traded her career in multimedia and web design for a full-time role at home. She blogs at www.raisinsandgoldfish.com.
“In Defense of Buff Comics” by Paul Handley won Editor’s Choice for humor. His piece illuminates the ridiculous nature of the modern-day tiger parent. Paul Handley’s work has appeared in Hobart, Metazen, Monkeybicycle, Pulp Diction III, Apt, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and more. Paul lives in Denver.
Lawrence Dunning came in first place with his short story “Mazatlan.” This story depicts the evolution of a long relationship as two people struggle and fail to connect. Dunning’s works of fiction include the novels Fallout! and Taking Liberty. A collection of his short stories–Rondo and Fugue for Two Pianos–was published in 2012. Two of his stories were named in the Best American Short Stories annual list of 100 best stories, and three of them have won Colorado Authors’ League awards. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
“Kansas” by Erin Block tells the story of a young girl who witnesses a shocking event. Erin is a librarian and a writer. Her debut novelThe View from Coal Creek was published by Whitefield Press in 2013.
“Circus Dreams” by Debbie Maxwell Allen took first place in flash fiction. This piece about a rebellious and independent girl flashes between the past and the present as we learn how she came to find a place where she belonged. Allen writes young adult fiction in the Rocky Mountains. Her fiction has been a finalist in the Pikes Peak Writers Zebulon Contest four times. She is the project manager for Good Catch Publishing. Read her blog at http://writingwhilethericeboils.blogspot.com.
“The New Employee” by Marty Brodsky subverts reader expectations by shining light on the corporate system. Marty is a musician and a writer. His website, Expedition Underground, is designed to help people share their adventures.
In the poetry category, “Letter to John Zimmerman from Bellvue” by George Kalamars took first place. This long, epistolary poem reveals a snapshot into the lives of two men. George has published seven full length books of poetry including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck (2011), winner of the Elixir Press Book Award.
The Flatirons Literary Review is in association with the Boulder Writers’ Workshop. To learn more about the organization or to become a member, visit the website at www.boulderwritersworkshop.org.