Out of the sleepy tree-lined streets of Rossmoor, our recent crop of authors spun tales of days gone by, home remodels, lost loves, neighborhood tradition, Dan Brown-like fantasy, and retail-development drama in the 7th almost-Annual Fiction Writing Contest of 2017.
The contest is sponsored by the RHA and co-sponsored by Write Away U. The winner will receive a $200 VISA gift card. The second-place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate and the third-place winner a $50 gift certificate, both to a local eatery.
Our judge this year selected “Martha Ann” by Lisa Quemada the winner. Author Karen Gardner placed second with her short story titled “Signs” Kennedy Vega with her story “Ross Cortese and the Moor Society” came in a close third.
Our judge for this year’s contest is Matthew Corcoran. He received his Masters of Arts in English with an emphasis on composition and creative writing from CSUF where he also served as executive editor of DASH Literary Journal. After leaving CSUF, he freelanced as a sports journalist and editor for MLB.com, Yahoo Sports, and The Orange County Register. He now teaches AP Language and Composition at John F. Kennedy High School, facilitates creative writing workshops, and is, himself, an avid writer.
Of the winning entry “Martha Ann,” Corcoran wrote “This is a touching and – at times – haunting story of grief. The language used is poetic, seemingly drawing its inspiration from romanticism. The anguish and loss felt by the widower recalls another grief-stricken narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem ‘Annabel Lee.’ The recounting of recent interactions between the widower and Martha Ann come to life with carefully placed details which feel natural, unobtrusive, and – above all else – real. The reader is left with a chill as the widower joins Martha Ann to walk safely ‘beyond memory.'”
Of the second-place entry “Signs,” Corcoran wrote “This story seemed to capture not only the Rossmoor neighborhood but the American suburban lifestyle. The depiction of a group of citizens who prefer the comfortability of the known over the unease of change resonates on a universal level. Like Maggie, Lilly, and Roger, many of us are turned off by – and even fearful of – progress, walking in circles around an empty lot and never really moving forward. The descriptions offer the reader a glimpse into the world of Rossmoor which is only enhanced by dialogue so natural you feel as if you are eavesdropping on a group of old friends.”
Of the third-place entry “Ross Cortese and the Moor Society,” Corcoran wrote “This was the most unique submission that I read. The story begins with a bang (‘Rossmoor Park was on fire. And it was all my fault.’) and manages to maintain the reader’s interest throughout with quick and pointed narration by the young Cassian James. The writing is confident, accessible, and not afraid to take risks. Among other things, the reader is left wondering what the Firedrakes really are. What do they look like? What are their goals or motivations? This short story feels like just the beginning of a much longer work.”
All of the entries represent the tremendous creativity that goes on every day in our community by people who draw, write, cook, and create things of their own design. The RHA Board of Directors is both humbled by and proud of the talent in our tight-knit neighborhood that brings us all closer together and bound by this common bond we call Rossmoor.
FICTION WRITING ESSAYS
|Lisa Quemada||Martha Ann|
|Kennedy Vega||Ross Cortese and the Moor Society|
|Majella Maas||Diego Ramos|
|John Boland||Home Sweet Makeover|
|Diane Rush||Mr. Sinclairs Dovecote|
|Marilyn Sweet||Summer of 75|
|Ben Fudal||The Heist|