Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, recognized winners of the chapter writing contest – the first tier of the VWC’s annual Golden Nib Contest – at their Aug. 15 meeting.
Of 178 networking local writers, there were 20 entries in the chapter contest (eight fiction, five nonfiction and seven poetry entries).  The distinguished panel of judges included Lillian Orlich, a guidance counselor in the Prince William County Public School System with 60 years of service (fiction); Kari Pugh, editor of Prince William Today (nonfiction) and Sofia Starnes, the Poet Laureate of Virginia, who graciously gave comments to the winning poets. June Forte, adjunct faculty at NOVA-Woodbridge and a member of VWC’s Board of Governors, organized the local contest.
These winners were chosen:
  • Fiction) First-Place: Cindy Brookshire, Manassas, “Woman of the Year”; Second-Place: R.P. Barr, Manassas, “Closing the Book”; Third-Place: Tamela J. Ritter, Haymarket, “Lima Beans & Barbie Dolls”
  • Nonfiction) First-Place: Carol Bellacera, Manassas, “And the Day Went Downhill”; Second-Place: Carol L. Covin, Bristow, “Remember Me”; Third-Place: June Pair Kilpatrick, Gainesville, “Reverberation: September 11, 2001”
  • Poetry)  First-Place: R.P. Barr, Manassas, “Seasons”; Second-Place: R. M. Goad, Woodbridge, “Bubble Wand”; Third-Place: Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Bristow, “Lincoln from the Grave”
First-place winning entries have been forwarded to the Virginia Writers Club (VWC) for statewide competition. Carol Bellacera, declined to go forward, so Carol L. Covin will advance in the nonfiction category. Statewide awards are presented during the VWC Annual Meeting in November in Richmond.  For more information about VWC, the Golden Nib Contest, the upcoming Teen Golden Nib Contest and Write by the Rails, visit www.virginiawritersclub.org/wbtr.
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