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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
7:00 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center

Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony Gualala Arts, The Sea Ranch Foundation and the Gualala Rotary Club sponsor a short story writing contest that is open to any full-time or part-time resident living between Elk and Timber Cove who has not published in a book or national periodical. Local or school publications are exempt.

Writers in either the Adult or Youth (13-17 years) category may submit up to three short stories of no more than 1,200 words each. To insure impartiality judges will not know the authorship. Deadline for all submissions and information on manuscript preparation can be found in the entry form or at the Gualala Arts office.

Contest judges are: Chester Case, a retired English teacher trainer at UC Berkeley and former contest winner; Steven Kessler, poet, translator, and publisher of the Redwood Coast Review; George Rathmell, author and retired teacher; and Janet Rathmell, retired teacher trainer for the California Writing Project and evaluator for the Golden State Writing Examinations.

Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony

Winning entries will be read and prizes distributed at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Gualala Arts Center. The two first place winners will receive $250 and have their stories published in the Redwood Coast Review, an award-winning quarterly supplement in the Independent Coast Observer that is sponsored by the Coast Community Library. Second prize is $150 and third prize is $100 for each category.

Chester Case was the 2006 winner with a story entitled "The Topic." The Youth Category 2006 winner was Nicholas Radkey who wrote "13 But Not Teen." Frank Healy's story "Old Man Wheeler" won the first contest held in 2003, which did not have a youth category. Other winners in past years include Katherine Cox, Natalie Cox, Brady Klopfer, David Robertson and Jo Rouse. The short story contest alternates in a three-year cycle with poetry and non-fiction contests sponsored by the same organizations.

And the 2009 Winners are . . .

At an evening gathering of friends, families and short story fans, prizes were awarded to the winners of the 2009 Short Story Contest at Gualala Arts Center, April 22, 2009.

R. C. Vasavada, representing the Gualala Rotary Club, co-sponsor of the contest, called out the winners in the Youth Division and presented the prize checks. Third place, $100 prize, went to Savannah Powers of Gualala for her story, "On Edge." Second place, $150, was awarded to Rhianon Radkey of Annapolis for her story, "Dorian's Trick."

First prize, $250, was awarded to Morgan Pack of Gualala. She read aloud her story, "All or None," a poignant, sensitive meditation on the dilemma of a young boy coping with the imminent restoration of his hearing, which, if he embraced it, would mean abandoning his accustomed world of soundlessness.

Jim Grenwelge, representing The Sea Ranch Foundation, also co-sponsor of the contest, awarded prizes in the Adult Division. Third place, $100, went to George Price of The Sea Ranch for "It Must Be Jelly." Second prize, $150, was claimed by David Robertson of The Sea Ranch for "Single Lens Reflex."

First prize, $250, was won by Ron Sackman of Manchester. He read aloud his story, "The Volcano Incident," a humorous story of an improbable incident caused by the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens, written in the tradition of the American tall tale.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges consisting of Steven Kessler, poet, translator, author and editor of the Redwood Coast Review; George Rathmell, author and retired teacher; Janet Rathmell, retired teacher and writing evaluator for the California Writing Project; and Chester Case, winner of the previous short story contest.

Case, who chaired the ceremony, declared that though there were only six prizes, all twenty-seven entrants were winners in that they took up the challenge of capturing the essence of a story, writing it out, deciding when it was realized and going public, as it were, by submitting for critical scrutiny.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.