Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 6:45 PM on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deadline nears for writers' contest

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

After 19 years as a cosponsor of the Kenai Peninsula Writers' Contest with the Homer Council on the Arts, the Homer News has handed over full responsibility for the contest to HCOA.

HCOA will coordinate the contest, open to poets and writers of kindergarten age to adult. Cash awards will be given to first-place winners for poetry, fiction and nonfiction at age levels K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 and adult/open. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Nov. 30 — the time when printed copies of entries must be received at the HCOA offices on Pioneer Avenue.

Homer News editor and publisher Lori Evans said she regretted that the paper could no longer help to sponsor the contest.

"In today's economy, we've had to re-evaluate our priorities in terms of time and resources," Evans said. "Our goal is to continue to help the arts council as much as possible so the writers' contest will continue to be a fun, successful program for everyone involved."

The writers' contest is open to all residents of the Kenai Peninsula, including residents attending college elsewhere in Alaska or Outside. Initial screening is done by local writers and poets, with final judging by writers and poets from outside the peninsula.

To preserve objectivity, entries are identified by title and entry number, with names removed. First place winners receive cash prizes from $25 to $100 depending on age. Judges also may select honorable mentions. Winners and possibly some honorable mention recipients will be invited to a reading March 22 and 23. Results will be announced Feb. 16.

"We want to have as many read as possible," said Mary Langham, a member of the writers' contest committee. "We'll try to accommodate a full evening of readers."

To enter, literary artists should register online at the HCOA website at www.homerart.org. Writers must register for each entry submitted. HCOA staff can help people register for those who do not have computer access or have difficulty registering. Writers must make two copies of each entry with a title but not the author's name on the first page.

Registration confirmation receipts should be included with the entries.

The fee for each entry is $3 for youth and $5 for adults. Mail or hand deliver payment, registration receipts and two copies of each submission to Homer Council on the Arts, 355 W. Pioneer Ave., Suite 100, Homer AK 99603.

Winning works may be published on the HCOA website, so authors and poets should be prepared to have digital copies of their submissions.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.