INK Announces Finalists in Prison Writing Contest

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INK, the country’s most ambitious prison writing program, announces finalists in its first nation-wide prison writing contest.

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INK, the country’s most ambitious prison writing program, announces finalists in its first nation-wide prison writing contest. Vidahlia Press and Publishing House, Inc., an independent book publisher, launched INK in 2013 to provide a literary outlet for those who are incarcerated in federal, state and county institutions. Thousands of incarcerated writers across the U.S. responded and the finalists exhibit exceptional literary talent and promise as literary artists.

“History has shown that many of America’s greatest writers have penned their work while incarcerated, often in deplorable conditions,” said Roy J. Rodney Jr., Publisher and President at Vidahlia Press and Publishing House, Inc. “INK is a combination of the company’s desire to pay it forward and its belief that the mass incarceration of almost three million citizens in the Unites States includes many exceptional literary artists.”

Winners will be announced on October 22, 2014 to coincide with the 19th Annual Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. This event is part of the National Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, an effort that aims to stop the unjust incarceration of nearly three million people in the United States; the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Vidahlia Press and INK join the fight to strike a blow against mass incarceration by shedding a new light on talent in prison and offering these individuals an opportunity to become successful literary artists.

The first place winners of the INK: Prison Writing Contest will receive either $500 or a correspondence course at Adams State University in Colorado. Adams State University has generously offered to provide at least one scholarship for our contest winners. The top three in each category and several others will be featured in the upcoming publication, From These Many Rooms: An Anthology of Selections from the INK Prison Writing Contest.

Selected literally submissions will be included in an anthology called From These Many Rooms which can be preordered at

Poetry Finalists

  • “A Poem in Five Chapters” by Christopher Myers
  • “Antonio Machado Wrote the World” by Francisco Wills
  • "Bird's Eye View” by Sydney Duff
  • "Poem", "Song of Body Healing”, "I don't know what I expected", "Random Tuesday", and "Involuntary Monk" by Edward Ji
  • “Introspection” by John Griffin
  • "Sunrise on Tuesday" by Darren Garner
  • "The Danger”, "Destitution Institution", "Future Understanding" by M. Berniece Johnson
  • “A Memory” by David Layman
  • “A Forge of Slugs” by Kenneth Meyers
  • “Words Are Weapons” by Terrance "Boo-Boo" Tucker
  • “Aegri Somnia” by Rafael Vasquez
  • “Cholo Was the Best” by Stephen Wilson
  • “I Was a Husband” and “Madness” by Jessica Woudstra
  • “Every Hour Is Fifteen Degrees in a Prison Cell” by John Fenton
  • “Twin Towers “by Ocie Lee Wilson III
  • “here i am” by Sid Pair O'Dice
  • “Mom, Can You Leave the Light On?” by Donald Brown
  • “DmB” by Perry Cadue
  • “Thinking Back” by Phil Elliott
  • “What I See with My Eyes” by Robert L. Guillory
  • “Where Is Heaven?” by Nathaniel Harris
  • “Who Spends the Night Alone?” by Sumwan Bey-Xo Nierrhu
  • “Evil” by Patrick A. Kennedy
  • “Life Exchange” by Yamiley Mathurin
  • “The Epiphany” by Tony McAfee
  • "The Details", "The Why's of It", and "Shock and Awe" by Juliette McShane
  • “The Last Poem” by John Purugganan
  • "Re-Creation" by William B. Whiters "aka Red Night
  • “Stardust” by Marcus Wilder
  • "Noise" by Robin Yeager
  • “Scars” by Damien M. Guerrero

Drama Finalists

  • One-Man Show (or “Asher”) by Christopher Myers
  • Oldhead by John Griffin
  • High Risk by Roy Gutierrez
  • The Canton Experiment by Benjamin Frandsen
  • Tryin to Change by Trent Kilgore
  • Maggie by Lyle May
  • Let Me Count the Ways by Keith Sanders
  • A Family Reunion of New Beginnings by Sandra Stamey
  • Love, Money, Family by Tevin Wilson

Fiction Finalists

  • As Close as You Get by Scott Gutches
  • Snowless Inside by Patrick Kinney
  • Careful What You Wish For by Ransom Scott
  • The Prophet Otis by Wendell Lindsay
  • The Awakening by Michael Drankus
  • A Dog Named Cat by Michael Fletcher
  • A Perfect Game by Robert Castilgia
  • 86’d from the Hellshine Lounge by Andrew Conde
  • Just Plain Nuts by Bryan Picken
  • The Movement of Sound by Chelsea MiMicheal
  • Stairway from Heaven by Dennis Isbell
  • Heartland by Jacob Silva
  • The Boy with the red ball by Jimmy Devaugn
  • The Contingency Plan by Michael Washington
  • Alpha Wave by Nicholas D. Seidel
  • The Last Criminal by Roy Gutierrez
  • Warrior by Tywana Hines
  • Silver and Gold by David Layman
  • Hawks by James Lavigne
  • The Tower by Jason Gonzalez

Nonfiction Finalists:

  • For Shame by Sonya Reed
  • Cotton Patch Kid by Thomas Miller
  • Come Break Me Down by Chris Dankovich
  • Superman by Paul J. Reed
  • Perspectives on Firewood by Josiah Ivy
  • Making the Transition by Darron Williams
  • Wood, Dirt, and Corn by John Rodriguez
  • When the Numbness Goes Away by Adam Fuller
  • The Birth of My Shadow by Adam Hinds
  • It's so Hard to Take a Piss in Jail and Halloween Call by Andres McKenzie
  • Flats Fiasco by Antonio Renteria
  • Velvet Jesus by Barbi Brown
  • How to Turn a Double Play by Bernie Augustyniak
  • Dog of My Dreams by Carla A. Serafin
  • What Tony Saw by Christopher K. Williams
  • The Saddest Day of My Life by Danate L. Shaw
  • Heidelberg Solitude by David J. Collver
  • Meal Ready to Eat by David P. Rhoades
  • Road Trip 1969 by David Ward
  • The Self-Destruction of America: Our Role in Undermining the Progress of the Nation by Demetrius Evans
  • Penned Behind Bars by Ethan Van Sice
  • Ants: the moral of a story by Gary Gilbert
  • Calamity on Logan Mountain by Heidi Hatcher
  • A Father's Birth Story by J. Dallas Lockhart
  • Encountering Administration Segregation by Jeremy Busby
  • When We Were Cowboys by Jesse Sorrells
  • Letters by Johnny F. Adams
  • Death without Parole by John Purugganan
  • Spoils of My Misspent Youth by Joshua Bunn
  • The Importance of Being a Father in Prison by Larry Stephenson
  • A Soul on Fire: No Fairy Tales from This Young Black Males Coming Up in New Orleans by Lawrence Youngblood
  • Stan and Hell of a Holiday by Natasha Hodge
  • The Bull Ride by Timothy D.V. Bazrowx

Graphic Novel Finalists:

  • Untitled by Malcom Moore
  • Untitled by Martin Robertson
  • Like A Jungle by Javon Woodall

About Vidahlia Press
Vidahlia Press & Publishing House, Inc. is an independent publisher committed to giving a voice to artists from all walks of life and to nurturing talent from unexpected places worldwide. An open-minded publisher with a soul, Vidahlia is interested in taking individual stories and ideas and presenting them in beautiful and creative ways to a global audience via a wide variety of media.

[1] The INK contest was sponsored by: Adams State University, Pubsoft a division of Kbuuk, LLC, The American Correctional Association, GMc+Company Advertising Alliance Print & Graphics, Jita Printing, Jail Guitar Doors, Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), American Construction Management Services, Inc., Aqua Creative PR, Metro Disposal, Inc., Booth & Booth, APLC., Davillier Law Group, LLC., Mr. Benjamin Walker, Mr. A. Ricky Smith, Mr. William Cranston, Mr. Charles M. Trippe, Mr. David Andy Lang, Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, BVB Ventures.

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