Winners Announced in “Carolina Prize for Writing” Contest

FCAC Writers Guild logo
FCAC Writers Guild logo

By Kay Whatley, Editor

The entries for this year’s Carolina Prize for Writing showcase the quality of writing, and photography, in North Carolina. Judging is complete, and the winning short stories, poems, and photographs will be featured in the Franklin County Arts Council (FCAC) Writers’ Guild’s annual County Lines: A Literary Journal.

Poetry contest:

  • “Coyote on Wisconsin Highway 63” by Mark MacAllister takes 1st place and receives $100 and a copy of the journal.
  • Honorable Mention: “Colored” by Cindy Brookshire
  • Honorable Mention: “Good Bones” by Kathy Ewers Bundy
  • Honorable Mention: “Listen” by Sylvia Freeman
  • Honorable Mention: “Sandy Point Beach” by Donna Campbell Smith
  • Honorable Mention: “61 Trees” by Mark MacAllister

Prose contest:

  • “Walk With Me in Bennington” by Wendy Harder takes 1st place, receives $100 and a copy of the journal.
  • Honorable Mention:  “The Stars Taste of Cardamom” by Cassandra Chambers Wagner
  • Honorable Mention: “How to Smile” by Kim Beall
  • Honorable Mention: “Her Best Friend Marcus” by Derek Odom
  • Honorable Mention: “Sheet Cake” by Cindy Brookshire

Cover art contest:

  • “Fence Lines” by Patricia Joynes takes 1st place, receives $25 and a copy of the journal.
  • Honorable Mention: Tammy Winkel will have two photographs included in the journal.

Contest entries faced expert judges following a guidelines confirmation check by an internal team at FCAC Writers’ Guild. This year’s Carolina Prize for Writing contest drew over 100 entries total, with submissions received from across North Carolina, California, Virginia, and Guam.

The County Lines: A Literary Journal 2021 issue will go on sale in December 2020 and be available in paperback format via Proceeds from journal sales support FCAC and Writers’ Guild local arts activities.


Contest Judges

Poetry:  Alice Osborn’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a singer-songwriter, historian, book editor, and poet. In the past 15 years, Alice has taught thousands of aspiring authors of fiction, poetry, memoir, and song of nearly all ages from 9 to 90 both around the corner and across continents. Searching for Paradise is her most recent CD featuring crowd-pleasing originals about history, heroes, and hope, while Heroes without Capes is her most recent collection of poetry. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her previous poetry collections are After the Steaming Stops and Unfinished Projects. Alice is the recipient of a United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County 2019 Professional Development Grant; she’s a Let’s Talk About It Scholar for the NC Humanities Council, the President of the NC Songwriters’ Co-op, and has served for seven years on the NC Writers’ Network’s Board of Trustees. She’s currently working on a novel and CD about the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846-1847. When she’s not writing or performing, Alice loves to jam with fellow bluegrass musicians on fiddle, mandolin, and banjo. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, two children, and five birds all named after musicians. Visit Alice’s website and blog at and check out her music at

Regarding the winning poem, the judge said, “The winning poem, Coyote on Wisconsin Highway 63, is a marvelous lyrical and narrative piece that successfully weaves longing and connection with domesticity and nature. This poem is anchored in the real world as the speaker slows down to let a coyote cross a rural road; the coyote and the speaker both gaze at an empty house, a house that used to hold happy memories: ‘but she would have said your many names in a low voice / smoothed your nervous eyebrows.’ The speaker and the coyote become one being, ‘what you’ve missed gathers around you like a small fog,’ then part. This poem does what a poem is supposed to do: make the reader experience a new perspective while offering a simple truth about love and loss.”

Prose:  Jenny Luper, who writes under the pen name Ware Wilkins, has been writing since 2013 and has published over fifteen novels, 10 novellas, and a smattering of short stories during that time under various pen names and in a multitude of genres. When she isn’t writing, she can be found teaching, failing at gardening, and reading. A native of Wake Forest, NC, she’s the author of the Sadie Salt Series and lover of kittens, coffee, and Klingons. Follow this author on Instagram.

Regarding the winning prose, the judge said, “I chose it because of the imagery, the consistent POV, and the evocative prose. It was concise and well edited.”

Cover Art: Award winning photographer, Pamela Andrejev, has been a visual artist for over twenty years. A Realtor with REALTY WORLD Triangle Living and owner of Andrejev Galleries, she divides her time whenever possible to photograph historical architectural buildings and memorable details of city environs. She has exhibited in Oklahoma, her home state, in North Carolina and Michigan.

Regarding the winning photograph, the judge said, “The photograph that I chose for the front cover illustrated a fantastic composition and is equally ideal for a book cover.”


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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.