Winners Announced in Carolina Prize Writing Contest

County Lines: A Literary Journal. Source: Kim Beall, Franklin County Writers' Guild
County Lines: A Literary Journal. Source: Kim Beall, Franklin County Writers' Guild

Judging of the entries to this year’s Carolina Prize Writing Contest is complete, and the winning short story, poem, and cover art have been selected.

From January 15 through March 15, 2021, submissions were received and sent to the judges in each of the three categories. Each judge reviewed and rated the contest entries in their category, selecting the winner and any honorable mentions.  This year’s judges for Carolina Prize contest were   North Carolina’s Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green (Poetry), author C. Hope Clark (Prose), and artist Clina Polloni (Cover Art).

The judges have selected the following as the Winners in the Franklin County Writers’ Guild 9th-annual Carolina Prize Writing Contest.


Carolina Prize Winners

Poet Jaki Shelton Green judged poetry entries in this year's Carolina Prize
Poet Jaki Shelton Green judged poetry entries in this year’s Carolina Prize

Poetry Winner: Deer Crossing — Mark McAllister

Said Judge Green: “It is my pleasure to select Deer Crossing as the first-place winner. This poem executes descriptive language that portrays vulnerability, tenderness, and grace. Its form and line structure support a memorable narrative that is invitational. Deer Crossing is a poem that reminds us of construction, destruction, and the almost invisible connections between humans and the natural world.”

Poetry Honorable Mentions:

Ariel Silk — Sylvia Freeman

A Sunday Morning in January — Leslie Waugh

The Final Confession of Sister Rose Patrick — Jane Mary Curran

Ruins of Riasc — Jane Mary Currand

Reunion Ritual — Joyce Compton Brown

C. Hope Clark judged Prose entries for this year's Carolina Prize
C. Hope Clark judged Prose entries for this year’s Carolina Prize

Prose Winner: Melanie Raskin — Frayed Edges

Said Judge Clark: “Frayed Edges tugged at me from the start, but what surprised me was how it completely wrapped itself around my heart by the end of it. I read it and was totally enamored by how the writer coaxed me into his mind. I was there with each character, seeing the hairdryer, hearing the change purse, but most of all, feeling the semblance of relief by the son. This is the perfect example of showing in lieu of telling. This is finding beauty in the everyday and proof that everyone has a tale to tell just in living life. But most of all, this is how you write a short story.”

Prose Honorable Mentions:

Ramona Scarborough — The Mask

K.F. Whatley — New Garden

Clina Polloni judged the Cover Art entries for this year's Carolina Prize
Clina Polloni judged the Cover Art entries for this year’s Carolina Prize

Cover Art Winner: Pat Joynes

Said Judge Polloni: “It was very difficult to select a photo; they are all so good. I was inspired by the chair in front of the beautiful sunset.”

Cover Art winner "Chair Facing Mountain" by Patricia Joynes
Cover Art winner “Chair Facing Mountain” by Patricia Joynes


About the Carolina Prize Writing Contest

All first-place winners will receive a $100 prize and two copies of the 2022 County Lines: A Literary Journal.

Winners and Honorable Mentions will be published in this year’s literary journal. All the judges were extremely impressed with all the submissions.  They talked about what a difficult time they had choosing.  That means that the 9th edition of the County Lines Literary Journal will be one you don’t want to miss.

The FCAC Writers’ Guild’s 2022 County Lines: A Literary Journal will go on sale in late Fall 2021 and be available for purchase in paperback format at the FCAC Gallery on the Hill and Proceeds from journal sales support FCAC and Writers’ Guild local arts activities.


FCAC Writers’ Guild Literary Journal

With the contest results decided, writers and artists have one more opportunity to have their work selected for publication in the upcoming County Lines. The Writers’ Guild will be accepting submissions from writers and artists of all ages and locations until the deadline of August 15, 2021.  There is no entry or reading fee.

Visit or email Donna Campbell Smith for journal submission guidelines.


About This Year’s Carolina Prize Judges

Poetry Judge: Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green judged the Carolina Prize “Poetry” entries, Ms. Green is the ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina, and is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate.

She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill.

Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Martha’s Vineyard, Ocracoke North Carolina, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland.

Prose Judge: C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University and 25 years experience with the US Department of Agriculture to include awards for her management, all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in most of her novels.

Her love of writing, however, carried her up the ranks to the ability to retire young, and she left USDA to pen her stories and freelance. Her novels include Lowcountry BribeTidewater Murder, and more, plus the six-book Edisto Island Mystery Series. Hope and her husband live on the rural banks of Lake Murray outside of Chapin, South Carolina, forever spinning tales on their back porch, bourbon and coke in hand.

She is published by Bell Bridge Books.

Cover Art Judge: Clina Polloni

Clina Polloni is a contemporary artist born in Chile. Her passion is to express herself in colorful paintings, inspired by her love for people, animals and nature.

She enjoys impressionism as well as realism and was able to develop her own unique style, equally at ease portraying the people in their environment and activities, a dialogue with nature’s light and colors. Teaching is something that fascinates Clina, to be able to transfer all this knowledge of art in her painting classes.

Clina lives in Franklinton, NC. In this beautiful farm is where she has her ART studio, exhibiting her paintings and providing painting classes.



Source: Franklin County Arts Council

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