Winning Writers Announces the Winners of the 28th Annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

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Omer Friedlander of Tel Aviv and BK Loren of Erie, Colorado each won $3,000 for their winning entries in the 28th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. This contest is sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by Duotrope.

Omer Friedlander and BK Loren are the winners of the 28th Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest sponsored by Winning Writers

Omer Friedlander and BK Loren are the winners of the 28th Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. (Photos by Yam Traiber andĀ Annette Taylor)

"There's a sexiness that ripples through this essay, and it carries you through the writer's journey to understanding and pride in herself. This essay will grow your heart."

Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its 28th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Omer Friedlander of Tel Aviv, Israel won the $3,000 first prize for fiction for his story "The Sand Collector". BK Loren of Erie, Colorado won the $3,000 first prize for nonfiction for her essay "Sir, May I Have a Pack of Marlboros?" 2,495 entries were received from around the world. Mr. Friedlander and Ms. Loren also received two-year gift certificates from the contest co-sponsor, Duotrope.

"The Sand Collector" depicts the brief but significant romance that develops between two solitary, sensitive teenagers: an Israeli girl and a Bedouin boy who survives by smuggling goods across the border from Egypt and into Gaza. Dennis Norris II, final judge of the 2020 Fiction & Essay Contest, said, "What's masterful in 'The Sand Collector' is the quiet tenderness with which this love story grows. It has the feeling of a secret rendezvous: tension, momentum, and intimacy."

"Sir, May I Have a Pack of Marlboros?" reminisces about a close female friendship that turned into something more, helping the author see herself more honestly and courageously as a queer woman. Norris said, "There's a sexiness that ripples through this essay, and it carries you through the writer's journey to understanding and pride in herself. This essay will grow your heart."

Ten Honorable Mentions of $200 went to Alexandra Blogier, Tara Campbell, Blake Goodwin, Anna Prawdzik Hull, Rev. Donald Marbury, Allison Hong Merrill, Suzanne Paschall, Ilari Pass, Remi Recchia, and Jim Zervanos. The judging was assisted by Lauren Singer Ledoux. The top 12 entries and judge's comments are published on the Winning Writers website.

The 28th contest is open now through April 30, 2021. $8,000 will again be awarded. The fee is $20 for each entry, 6,000 words maximum per piece. Returning as final judge is Dennis Norris II, fiction editor of Apogee Journal and a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow. See the guidelines and enter online.

In addition to the Fiction & Essay Contest, Winning Writers sponsors the North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books, the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee). The contests at Winning Writers are recommended by Reedsy.

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Adam Cohen
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