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Next adult writing contest will begin
in the spring of 2022.

Sharpen your pencils!

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:

Stay tuned!

Entry fee:

​Non-Members

$30.00 Membership

+ $15.00 Contest entry

+ $2.00 For Pay-Pal Cost = $47

Members $16.00 entry fee

Congratulations to
OWL Writing Contest Winners!

                2021 Winners!

 

Memoir / Creative Nonfiction

Sponsor: Brenda Black 

1st      “And I Always Will” — Ronda Del Boccio

2nd     “Black Monday” — Fay Guinn

3rd      “My Mother the Rabbit” — Annie Lisenby Smith

HM      “Young Tragedy” — Diane Yates

 

Nonfiction Article

Sponsor: Veda Boyd-Jones

1st     “Cheating the Grim Reaper” — Billie Holladay Skelley

2nd    “Victoria Woodhull The First Woman to Run for President” — Larry Wood

3rd     “Lydia Pinkham’s Powerful Potion” — Diana West

 

Crawford Humorous Anecdote

 

1st       “An Ozarks Preacher” — Annie Lisenby Smith

2nd      “Oops” — Fay Guinn

3rd       “Big Sister’s Revenge” — Joy Keeney

1st HM     “Hot Potato” — Margarite Stever

2nd HM    “One More for the Road” — Russell Gayer

3rd HM     “The Last Laugh” — B. H. Skelley

Crawford Poetry Prize

Sponsor: John Crawford

1st      “This Warrior” — Bonnie Tesh

2nd     “In the Middle of the Storm” — Annie Lisenby Smith

3rd      “Death Comes Slowly” — Rhonda Harvey

1st HM     “Singing Life” — Ronda Del Boccio

2nd HM    “Goodbye Old Friend” — Diane Yates

3rd HM     “Life’s a Holiday” — Veda Boyd-Jones

 

Haiku

Sponsor: Jan Morrill-Vanek

1st      “Stellar” — Lori Freeze

2nd     “Daddy’s Hand” — Joy Keeney

3rd      “The Nursing Home” — Russell Gayer

HM      “Stream Salvation” — Billie Holladay Skelley

 

Humorous Short Piece

Sponsor: Russell Gayer

1st      “Elvis, Bigfoot, and a Bicycle Built for Recycling — Bonnie Tesh

2nd     “Scamming the Scammer — Annie Lisenby Smith

3rd      “FEMA Responds to First Flood” — Diana West

HM      “Never Anger a Goddess” — Ronda Del Boccio

 

Flash Fiction

Sponsors: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Jan Fields

1st     “Marie’s Music” — Bonnie Tesh

2nd    “My Last Days” — Kelly Kirby

3rd     “The Best Geocache Ever” — Annie Lisenby Smith

 

Inspirational Romance

Sponsor: Diane Yates

1st       “When Our Time Has Come” — Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

2nd      “Strength from a Shattered Heart” — Annie Lisenby Smith

3rd       “The Summer of His Life” — Larry Wood

1st HM     “Becky’s Valentine” — Margarite Stever

2nd HM    “The Journal” — April Brock

“I Didn’t see That Coming” O. Henry Style Story

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

1st     “A Marvelous Sunrise” — Caroline Giammanco

2nd    “He’s A Rebel” — Larry Wood

3rd     “The Old Lady” — Veronica Burnish

HM     “Order Up” — Ronda Del Boccio

 

Paranormal Western

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

1st     “Devil’s Gap” — Joy Keeney

2nd    “Doc. Eli” — Terry Alexander

3rd     “Pink” — Diane Smithey

HM     “The Ghost Picture” — Larry Wood

 

Western Short Story

Sponsor: Nancy Hartney

1st       “Love in the Old West” — Margarite Stever

2nd      “The Cards You’re Dealt” — Caroline Giammanco

3rd       “Waiting at Home” — Billie — Holladay Skelley

1st HM     “Inspection at Cat’s House” — Ronda Del Boccio

2nd HM    “Showdown at Short Creek” — Larry Wood

3rd HM    “Buckskins and Lace” — Russell Gayer

 

 “Write the Old Stuff” Historical Fiction

Sponsor: Nancy Hartney

1st      “Black and White in Living Color” — Diane Yates

2nd     “The Christmas angel” — Billie Holladay Skelley

3rd      “Dancing in the Shadows” — Annie Lisenby Smith

HM      “Silverwood Asylum” — Joy Keeney

 

Jeanie’s First Love

Sponsor: Bonnie and Dick Tesh

1st      “A Lady Indeed” — Caroline Giammanco

2nd     “Orphan Train Girl” — Larry Wood

3rd      “Somebody Special” — Ronda Del Boccio

 

Best First Page of a Novel Work In Progress

Sponsors: The Prose Squad: April Brock, Bonnie Tesh, Darrell Lacey, and Margarite Stever

1st       “Baby, It’s Cold out Here” — Russell Gayer.

2nd      “Crystal Carrier — Terry McDermid

3rd       “The Quest” — Lori Freeze

1st HM    “Deadly Memories” — Larry Wood

2nd HM   “Love’s Fate” — Diane Yates

 

Best Fiction Book of 2020:  Sponsor: Billie Holladay Skelley

Impossible Fate — Diane Yates

Best Nonfiction Book of 2020:  Sponsor: Veda Boyd-Jones

Midnight Assassinations and Other Evildoings A Criminal History of Jasper County Missouri — Larry Wood

 
 
 

2020 Winners!​​​

Poetry

Haiku

Sponsor: Jan Morrill

1st Place: “Cool Rain in Late June” by Larry Wood

2nd Place: “Question of motive” by Russell Gayer

3rd Place: “Pond in Moonlight” by Margarite Stever

HM: “My Sons” by Terry McDermid

Poetry Theme: Mountains

Sponsor: John Crawford

1st place: "The Mountain” by Russell Gayer

2nd place:  A Week in the Mountains” by Terry McDermid

3rd place, "Call to Mato Paha" by Ronda Del Boccio          

1st HM: "Rockies at Rest" by Bonnie Tesh

2nd HM  "Grandfather Mountain" by Annie Smith

3rd HM: "Goodbye Mountain" by Joy Keeney

Nonfiction

Magazine Article

Sponsor: Anonymous

1st Place: “’For Pete’s Sake’: Charity Gives Cancer Patients a Needed Getaway” by Marti Attoun  

2nd Place: “Datura: Toxic Beauty” by Billie Holladay Skelley

3rd Place: “Bass Reeves, U.S. Deputy Marshal” by Diana West

HM: “The Terrible McWaters” by Larry Wood

HM: “Keeping Your Leader Dog Happy and Well-adjusted During the Pandemic” by Ronda Del Boccio

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Sponsor: Brenda Black

1st Place: “Believing in Thunder” by Ronda Del Boccio

2nd Place: “The Elephant's Whiskers” by Mary-Lane Kamberg

3rd Place: “A Little Different” by Billie Holladay Skelley

HM: "Christmas by Candlelight” by Bonnie Tesh  

HM: “I Never Saw My Father Cry” by Jim Hamilton

Short Story

Paranormal Short Story (FICTION): Ghost stories, cryptid hunts, UFO sightings, and the like are all welcome in this category.

Sponsor: Ronda Del Boccio

1st Place: “The Haunted House Contest” by Terry McDermid

2nd Place: “A Prosperity Halloween” by Larry Wood           

3rd Place: Lost Souls of Havenhurst” by Rhonda Harvey

Humorous Short Story

Sponsor: Russell Gayer

1st place: “Jenny’s Curtain Call” by Annie Lisenby Smith

2nd place: “Runaway Asses” by Margarite Stever

3rd place: “A Truly Bonafide Random Drawing” by Joan Banks

HM: “Food for Thought (or Idiom Schmidiom)” by Billie Holladay Skelley

Historical Romance

Sponsor: Parris Afton-Bond

1st Place: “The Lady Governess” by Annie Lisenby Smith

2nd Pace: “Out of the Blue” by Cassandra Jordan

3rd Place: “It Had to be You” by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Flash Fiction

Sponsor: Jan Wayne Fields

1st Place: “Dark Star, Bright Light” by Billie Holladay Skelley

Place: “Revenge” by Lonnie Whitaker

3rd Place: “Poverty at School” by Margarite Stever

Western Short Story

Sponsor: Duke Pennell

First Place: “The Sage Grouse and the Bandit Queen” by Billie Holladay Skelley

Second Place: “Showdown at Leadville” by Larry Wood

Third Place: “A Cowboy's Frustration in Manhood” by Michael Koch

Inspirational Story

Sponsor: Diane Yates

1st Place: “Requiem in C Sharp Minor” by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

2nd Place: “The Pear Tree” by Bonnie Tesh

Place: “A Candle in the Window by Cassandra Jordan

HM: “And I Always Will” by Ronda Del Boccio

HM: “Summer of His Life” by Larry Wood

Short Story Western Romance

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

1st Place: “Home on the Ranch” by Larry Wood

2nd Place: “Mail Order Husband” by Annie Lisenby Smith

3rd Place: “Montana Rose” by Bonnie Tesh

Short Story – O. Henry Style Story

Sponsor: Bud Hanks

1st Place: “Little Orange Lies” by Marti Attoun

2nd Place: “A Rocky Mountain Prayer” by Larry Wood

3rd Place: “ A Terrible Neighbor” by Margarite Stever

HM: “Order Up” by Ronda Del Boccio

HM: “Operation Tooth Fairy” by Annie Lisenby Smith

HM: “Annabell West” by Haley Humbird

Wilshire Short Story

Sponsors: Dr. Gil Wilshire – in memory of his parents, Professor Bruce and Donna Wilshire 

1st Place: “Praying For Rain” by Joan Banks

2nd Place: “Memory Lane by Joy Keeney

3rd Place: "Untitled countdown story" by Haley Humbird

HM “Please, Jesus, Don’t Let Me Wet Myself” by Ronda Del Boccio

Book

Best First Page of a Book in Progress

Sponsors: The Prose Sisters  

                                                                                    

1st Place: “James E. Hanger and His Artificial Leg” by Mary-Lane Kamberg

2nd Place: "Walnut Creek Chronicles" by Terry McDermid

3rd Place: "Shadow Walking" by Cassandra Jordan

HM "Texas Heat" by Rhonda Harvey

Best Unpublished Book Manuscript

Sponsor: Robert Lawrence

1st Place, "Deadly Mist" by Ronda Del Boccio

2nd Place: "The I Love to Write Poetry Book" by Mary-Lane Kamberg

3rd Place: "Deadly Memories" by Larry Wood

Best Published Book of 2019-2020

​Sponsor: Veda Boyd Jones

Fiction: "Where Light No Longer Shines" by H. D. Pelton

Nonfiction: "Ozarks RFD" by Jim Hamilton 

HM "Missouri Innovators" by Paul W. Bass   

2019 Winners!

OWL Youth Writing Contest

OWL Adult Writing Contest

Poetry 

 

1st Place- “The Piano” by Addysen Garrett, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO

2nd Place- “The Words of a Writer” by Savannah Barnett, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO

3rd Place- “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Ella Dougherty, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO

 

Short Story

1st Place- “Evelyn and the Imp” by Harmony Ortman, Gainesville High School, Gainesville, MO

2nd Place- “The House that Creams” by Destiny Holt, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO

3rd Place- “Satisfaction” by Angelina Curtis, Skyline High School, Urbana, MO

 

Thanks to contest coordinator April Brock. 

Presidents Award

Brenda Clem Black for Black and Kiddo

 

Haiku

1st Place - Annie Lisenby for Puerto Rico

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Pernicious

3rd Place - April Brock for Worth It

Honorable Mention - Ronda Del Boccio for Torment

 

Romance

1st Place - April Brock for Love Conquers Fear

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Dearly Beloved

3rd Place - Karen Williamson for Gypsy

 

O. Henry Style

1st Place - Larry Wood for Blacklist

2nd Place - Joy Keeney for Desperate Call

3rd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Blind Fate

 

Humorous Short Story

1st Place - Sasha Ball-Rives for Harebrained Christmas

2nd Place - Larry Wood for Bowled Over

3rd Place - Annie Lisenby for Wasps!

 

Wilshire Short Story

1st Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for One-Two-Three

2nd Place - Sasha Ball-Rives for Riding the Waves

3rd Place - Annie Lisenby for The Listener

 

Crawford Poetry Prize

1st Place - Jennifer Johnson Conner for Wild Ozark Song

2nd Place - Bonnie Tesh for Belle Starr and Richey Mansion

3rd Place - Ronda Del Boccio for Branson's Haunted Railway

1st Honorable Mention - Billie Holladay Skelley for Honoring the Plant Doctor

2nd Honorable Mention - Diana West for Ozark Spook Light

3rd Honorable Mention - Larry Wood for Triolet at Carver National Park

 

Paranormal/Fantasy Fiction

1st Place - Joy Keeney for Hartsville Asylum

2nd Place - Jessica Carrick for Shadowland

3rd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Day of Atonement

Honorable Mention - Jennifer Johnson Connor for Final Flight

 

Unpublished Manuscript

1st Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for What the Heart Wants

2nd Place - Annie Lisenby for Contributing Members

3rd Place - Larry Wood for Wild in His Sorrow

 

WIP First Page

1st Place - Ronda Del Boccio for Hypnotic Deception

2nd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Liquid Silver

3rd Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for Manumission

1st Honorable Mention - Gary R. Hoffman for Highway 50

2nd Honrable Mention Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Last Dance with Annie

 

Underdog Short Story

1st Place - Larry Wood for A Grave Situation

2nd Place - Gary R. Hoffman for Saul and Mordecai

3rd Place - Joy Keeney for Struggles of the Heart

Honorable Mention - Sasha Ball-Rives for Why We Don't Tell

 

Western Romance

1st Place - Billie Holladay Skelley for A Ruse for Romance

2nd Place - Rhonda Harvey for Between Sisters

3rd Place - April Brock for Bradford's Mare

Honorable Mention - Annie Lisenby for Falling Hard and Running Wild

 

Memoir/Creative Nonfiction

1st Place - Gary R. Hoffman for Traveling Picture Show

2nd Place - Bonnie Tesh for The Wino Goose

3rd Place - Larry Wood for Decoration Day

Honorable Mention - Jennifer Johnson Conner for The Soul of Wild Places

 

Best Book Award

1st Place - Brenda Clem Black for Black and Kiddo

2nd Place - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for A Stone for the Journey

3rd Place - Ronda Del Boccio for The All Died Smiling

Honorable Mention - Larry Wood for Show-Me Atrocities