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Twenty Utah writers earn state awards

Utah Original Writing Competition

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the SLCC Community Writing Center have chosen 20 writers in seven categories as the winners of the 63rd annual Utah Original Writing Competition. The winners were selected from a total of 246 entries from Utah-based writers.

Manuscripts were reviewed in an anonymous process by judges who reside outside of Utah. First- and second-place winners are awarded prize money ranging from $150 to $1,000, depending on the category.

An event celebrating Utah writers and the Original Writing Competition will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be an awards ceremony and readings by previous competition winners.

Past winners of the Utah Original Writing Competition include four past Utah Poets Laureate, including David Lee, Ken Brewer, Katharine Coles, and Lance Larsen.

2022 UOWC Winners

Category A: Novel, judged by Liz Kay 

  • First Place: The Icelanders by Iris Moulton (South Salt Lake City)
  • Second Place: Rush by Larry Menlove (Payson) 
  • Honorable Mention: Poets Never Find Peace by McKenna Jackson (Orem)

Category B: Creative Nonfiction Book, judged by Carolyn Jess-Cooke 

  • First Place: Showdown at Crossfire Canyon by Patricia Karamesines (Blanding) 
  • Second Place: The Quiet Burden of Stones by Lin Ostler (Salt Lake City)
  • Honorable Mentions: 
    • Dear You, Love Me by Shannon Masayo Martinez (Ogden)
    • Where Dry Rivers Meet by Dylan Mace (Salt Lake City) 
    • Excursions With ScoutMeditations on Nature, Solitude and Community from a Life on the Road by Carly Gooch (Saint George) 

Category C: Book Length Collection of Short Stories, judged by Kim Fu 

  • First Place: A Stranger in Your Own Town by Andrea Garland (Salt Lake City) 
  • Second Place: How I Learned to Be Haunted and Other Stories by Lesley Hart Gunn (Provo) 
  • Honorable Mentions: 
    • Monsoon Country by Samyak Shertok (Salt Lake City) 
    • Stray Country by C.K. Turner (Sandy) 

Category D: Young Adult Fiction Book, judged by Hal Shrieve 

  • First Place: Asynchronous by Andrew Grace (Salt Lake City)
  • Second Place: The Novice by Lynn Buchanan (Orem)
  • Honorable Mention: Mag’s Book of Questions by Christi Leman (Provo) 

Category E: Poetry, judged by CMarie Fuhrman

  • First Place: “The Last Beekeeper” by Samyak Shertok (Salt Lake City)
  • Second Place: “The Trains Never Stop” by C.K. Turner (Sandy)
  • Honorable Mention: “First Poems After the Stroke” by Shanan Ballam (Logan) 

Category F: Short Fiction, judged by Anna Cabe 

  • First Place: “Maybe You Should Start Drinking” by Jean Marie Hackett (Park City) 
  • Second Place: “Swim” by Elizabeth Barnes (Santaquin)
  • Honorable Mention:  “Little Owl, Lake Michigan” by Dylan Robinson (Provo) 

Category G: Creative Nonfiction Essay, judged by Ira Sukrungruang

  • First Place: “The Moth Effect” by Kylie Smith (Salem)
  • Second Place: “A Brief Examination of Mortality” by McKenna Jackson (Orem)
  • Honorable Mention: “The Blue Bathtub” by Shannon Masayo Martinez (Ogden)