Rochester Writers Announce Contest Winners

Rochester Writers’ Conference

Last fall, Rochester Writers held their fifth annual conference bringing together a variety of genres in fiction and non-fiction writing. They announced plans to run their first writing contest as a new component of the conference. Announced this week at the Freelance Marketplace writers’ group were the winners of the contest. Michael Dwyer, organizer of the conference, hosts the writers’ group. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month (except December) at the Rochester Hills Barnes & Noble bookstore at 7:30 p.m.

The Contest

Three categories (poetry, micro fiction, and first page) brought in over 50 entries from around the state of Michigan and even an entry from Illinois. Prizes were awarded for first, second and third places of each category, as well as a Best of Show award. Attendees to the 2012 Rochester Writers’ Conference received free entry into the contest. All others were subject to a modest $10 fee for up to three entries.

The family of award winning Poet, Margo LaGattuta, gave their consent to name the poetry contest after Margo as a memorial for her passion of the craft. Margo LaGattuta lived in Rochester Hills and was a colleague and friend to Michael Dwyer. She passed in 2011.

The Winners

Rochester Writers’ Margo LaGattuta Poetry Award

First Place

Judy’s Time with Dali by Mary Ellen Soroka

Second Place

High Above by Yasmin Moore

Third Place

Almost by K. Michelle Moran

Rochester Writers’ Micro Fiction Award

First Place

Definitively Cured by Seth Paul

Second Place

Night Cruiser by Veronica Dale

Third Place

Hard Cookie Love by Carman C. Curton

Rochester Writers’ First Page Award

First Place

The Anxious Girl by Maria Allard

Second Place

Time Candle by Veronica Dale

Third Place

My Secret Nightmare by Gregg Wysocki

Honorable Mention

Auttumn’s Fall by Lisa M. Caretti

Note about the winning entries: Per the contest rules, only the author and title of the work is being announced. This allows the author a chance to sell the work as “unpublished” and to enter other contests.

Best of Show

The Rochester Writers’ Rochester Media Best of Show goes to Mary Ellen Soroka for her entry Judy’s Time with Dali. “I’m honored to be chosen and especially since Margo was a mentor to me,” said Mary Ellen Soroka. The publishers of Rochester Media sponsored the contest and they selected the award from the three first place winners. “Powerful use of metaphors and imagery! The poem is a true original and a work of art” said Tom Gendich.

The Prizes

Nine cash prizes will go to the top three picks of each category. First place will receive $50, second place will receive $25 and third place will receive $10. Best of Show will receive free registration to the 2013 Rochester Writers’ Conference scheduled for Saturday, October 5, at Oakland University.

The Judges

Besides the Rochester Media publishers picking the Best of Show, three local Michigan writers were used to judge the entries. Carolyn Walker and Kelly Fordon both teach workshops through Springfed Arts. Sonya Julie is a freelance writer and is on staff of Rochester Writers.

The Near Future

A new contest will be announced soon. The plan is to except entires throughout the summer and for the contest to be judged by the time of the Rochester Writers’ Conference later this year. Visit the website for updates:

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at

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