The Creative Writing committee dedicated this year’s contest to our friend and colleague Angie McCaffrey, who died this past spring following a long and heroic struggle with cancer. Angie recognized the importance of storytelling and narrative in the work we do; in fact, at the time of her death, she was working on an article with storytelling as its focus. She knew how central language is to identity, witnessing, and meaning, and she taught us all to appreciate that in her work on translation. Angie also valued words as the tools of sharing and play. She cared deeply about family, friends, students, and clients; and she also treasured our remarkable community of teachers, lawyers, and social activists. The committee believes this year’s creative writing contest provides an apt opportunity to celebrate Angie’s passions and honor her spirit.

The Results are in...

The results of the CLEA Creative Writing Competition are in, and we are so happy to congratulate the winners. We also want to acknowledge the many talented writers who didn’t make the final cut, but whose work evidences the creativity, thoughtfulness, and spirit of this great community.


Awards will be presented at the CLEA Bash, Sunday, April 28, in San Juan, Puerto Rico! And everyone interested in hearing our winners read should plan to stick around at the party; we expect to find a quiet corner to listen, and to provide all participants (not just the winners) an opportunity to share a favorite literary gem.


If you can’t join us in San Juan, be sure to watch for the winning poems and stories in forthcoming newsletters and on the CLEA website.


Finally, we want to give a shout out to our judges, Kim McNarin and Dana Elkun, whose bios appear below. They made the hard decisions, and they don’t even get to come to Puerto Rico to help us celebrate.


Kim McLarin is the author of three, critically-acclaimed novels, Taming It Down, Meeting of The Waters and Jump At The Sun, all published by William Morrow. Jump at the Sun was chosen as a 2007 Fiction Honor Book by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. It was also nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and chosen by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association as a 2007 Fiction Honor Book. She is a former staff writer for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press.  Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post, The Root, Slate.Com and other publications. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. McLarin is also a regular panelist on Basic Black, Boston’s historic weekly television program devoted to African-American themes produced by WGBH-TV in Boston.


            Dana Elkun obtained her BA from Stanford and an MFA from the University of Washington. Her first book of poems, Black Box Theater as Abandoned Zoo, won the Concrete Wolf Poetry Prize in 2009. She is widely published, with work appearing in the Bellingham Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Puerto del Sol, and Poetry Northwest, among many other journals. Elkun has taught in youth homes and correctional facilities, as well as at the Universities of Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Naropa. Currently Elkun resides in Minneapolis, where she teaches at the Loft Literary Center and online courses through the Lighthouse Writers’ Center in Denver.


 And now, the winners!

In fiction:

1st prize            Lisa Kelly, Univ of Washington, Steal Away

2nd prize           Diane Adair, state of Washington, I’m Sorry

Honorable Mention

                        Catherine Valdez, state of Florida, Custody and Sisterhood

                        Karon Rowden, Texas Wesleyan, I Win

                        Thakshila Dhammearatchi, India, Thorns of Yesteryear

In poetry        

1st prize            Lisa Kelly, Univ of Washington, Dear So

2ndprize            Michele Halloran, Michigan State, Master Silversmiths

Honorable Mention

                        Diane Adair, state of Washington, County Blues

In short form

1st prize            Deborah Burand, Univ of Michigan, What Counts

2nd prize           Stephen Rosenbaum, Berkeley, Letter of Nov 9, 2012

In creative nonfiction

1st prize            Stacy Caplow, Brooklyn, Case Closed          

2nd prize           Susan Rutberg, Golden Gate, Revelation, Municipal Court

Honorable Mention

                        Cindy Adcock, Charlotte, Burying Ernest Basden

                        Cheryl Wattley, Oklahoma U, The Tough Minded, Tender Hearted  



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