The University of Akron Wayne College recently presented awards to the 2014 Writer of the Year and to high school, college and community writers at its annual Writers Workshop. For fourteen years, UA Wayne College has recognized exceptional writing with its Writing Awards and for eleven years has offered workshops to help writers sharpen their skills. The competition recognizes students from area high schools, Wayne College students and regional writers for projects they submitted at the end of the fall semester.
High school writers competed in poetry, short story or personal essay categories, college writers submitted short stories or poetry and regional writing competitors submitted poetry, short story or nonfiction pieces. The winners in each category received a monetary prize and complimentary registration to the April 5 workshop event. The Writer of the Year received a plaque and a $500 cash award.
The Writer of the Year award, which recognizes excellence and achievement by a published writer who resides in Wayne, Holmes or Medina counties for a lifetime of work or for a recent success, was presented to Fredericktown resident Chip Gross, an award-winning Ohio outdoors writer/photographer.
In the high school poetry category, Andrew Niehus of Wadsworth High School won first place with “The Colors of Love.” Jennifer Reynolds, also of Wadsworth High School, was awarded second place for “Kidnapping.” Third-place honors went to James Dalgleish of Black River High School for “Jamesy Kid.” There were two honorable mentions in the category, going to Morgan Lesher of Wadsworth High School for “Where Does Writing Hide?” and Aley Lind of Wadsworth High School for “Fire and Ice.”
In the high school short story category, first place went to Amanda Wolf of Medina High School for “Nightmares.” The second-place award went to Allison Walker, also of Medina High School, for “C´est un Reve (This is a Dream).” Ellie Zumbach of Garaway High School took third place with “Truth.” Honorable mention went to Elizabeth Wagner of Orrville High School for “A Life So Lived.”
Erica Hayes of Northwestern High School was the first-place winner in the high school personal essay category with “My Friend Randy.” Elizabeth Wagner of Orrville High School placed second for “Purpose.” Mary Hope Ozbolt of Chippewa High School received third place for “Between Worlds.” Honorable mention went to Rebecca Leasure of Northwestern High School for “The Fabulous Life of a Waitress.”
Roxana Rathbun was the first place winner in the college short story category with “Awake.”
In the regional poetry division, Beverly J. Potter received the first place award for “The Lie of Perpetual Motion” and Grace Schantz received the second place award for “Scales.” Third prize went to T.M. GÖttl for “The Crow’s Brother.”
In the regional awards short story category, Melinda Neuhauser took first place for “Coming Home.”
Denice Rovira Hazlett was the first place winner in the regional nonfiction category with “To Hit A Moving Target” and Melinda Neuhauser placed second with “Ride.”