This page features all of the WNBA Writing Contest winners.
The WNBA Writing Contest was founded in 2013 by Joan Gelfand (WNBA-SF). We’ve been delighted to hold the contest all but one year (2019) since its inception.
During that time, hundreds of pieces of writing have been read and reviewed. Below you will find the best — the winners of the WNBA Writing Contest. We hope you will take time to read the winning pieces.
If you have any questions, please contact our current writing contest chair, Andrea Auten at contest [at] wnba-books.org.
Enjoy the work of these very talented writers!
2020 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
Congratulations to the winners!
First Place: “The Scent of Water” by Lisa Leyenda
Second Place: “Resurfacing” by Lauren Parvizi
First Place: “In Gettysburg” by Jess Smith
Second Place: “Butterflies, Berries, and Beef” by Carol Fischbach
Third Place: “Earplugs” by Naomi Weiss
First Place: “Woman in the Covid Bubble” by Tess Kelly
Second Place: “Leaves” by Amy Wright
Third Place: “Distraction Display” by Kate MacGuire
First Place: “Where/There” by A. Kaiser
Second Place: “Reclaimed” by Rhett Watts
Third Place: “Sinkhole” by Iris Dunkle
2018 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
First Place:”For Want of Other Worlds” by Connie Corzilius Spasser
Second Place: “Desert Animals” by Marie Baleo
Third Place: “Hinterland” by Rachel Hughes
Honorable Mention: “Wheat to Bread” by Atossa Shafaie
First Place: “Eating” by Cinthia Ritchie
Second Place: “Still Life” With Books by Kathye Petrie
Third Place: “Molting” by Stacey Megally
First Place: “Finding Black Jaguar” by Bonnie Waltch
Second Place:”The Things We Wish to Keep” by Lisa Bradley
Third Place: “A Fire Ignited” by Laura Picklesimer
Honorable Mention: “The Name You’re Not Supposed to Call Women” by Renee Roberson
First Place: “First Ladies, m. 1963–d.1976” by Eve Brouwer
Second Place: “Once I Had a Name” by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson
Third Place: “Still I Rise” by Anne Casey
Honorable Mention: “Supposed to Be” by Elisabeth Bassin
Regina Marler. After Editing SelectedLetters of Vanessa Bell, Ms. Marler wrote Bloomsbury Pie: The Making of the Bloomsbury Boom, and edited Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America on to Sex. Her fiction has appeared in North American Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her story, She has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Observer, Amazon.com, and the Advocate and currently contributes to the New York Times Book Review, the TLS, and the Signet Classics series. Recent essays include the Cambridge Companion to Bloomsbury, Queer Bloomsbury, and forthcoming: Oxford Guide to Virginia Woolf.
Katie Hafner. She has been writing for The New York Times since 1991. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Wired, The New Republic, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Her books include Cyberpunk: Outlaws and hackers on the computer frontier (with John Markoff), Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The origins of the internet (with Matthew Lyon), and others. Her most recent book Mother Daughter Me, a memoir about multigenerational living, was published in 2013 by Random House.
Tanya Egan Gibson. Her debut novel, How to Buy A Love of Reading, was published by Dutton in May 2009. An alumna of Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she is mother to a four-year-old who produces countless construction paper “books” that she insists Mommy “get published” and an infant whose favorite teether is HTBALOR, and wife to the most patient man in the universe.
Carol Smallwood. One of Carol Smallwood’s over five dozen anthologies, Women on Poetry: Tips on writing, revising, publishing and teaching, is on Poets & Writers Magazine’s List of Best Books for writers. Her latest is Library Outreach to Writers and Poets: Interviews and case studies of cooperation (McFarland, 2017). A multiple Pushcart nominee, she has served as reader, reviewer, interviewer, and judge and has received various recognitions such as a National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award.
2017 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
All of the winning entries can be found in the 2017 WNBA Writing Contest special edition of the Bookwoman Newsletter.
First Place: “The Coffin-Maker” by Robyn Corum
Second Place: “Dancing on a Stump” by Karin Fuller
Third Place: “Taking Care of Harry” by Christine Eskilson
Honorable Mention: “Since Letitia Williams Saw Jesus” by Patty Somlo
First Place: “White Woman Passes” by Jeanne Choy Tate
Second Place:”Pink Hats” by Nicole Ayers
Third Place: “Climbing Back Up” by Sarah Birnbach
Honorable Mention: “Doubling Back” by Joanne Godley
First Place: “When I Am Red and the Moon Full” by Stacey Balkun
Second Place:”Southern Ice Storm” by Alice Osborn
Third Place: “Aleppo” by Andy Young
Honorable Mention: “At Sea” by Anna Hernandez-French
Ellen Urbani is the author of the novel Landfall, a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Reads selection set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and When I Was Elena. Her work has been profiled in the
Oscar-qualified short documentary film “Paint Me a Future.” A Southern expat now residing in Oregon, her pets will always be dawgs and her truest allegiance will always reside with the Crimson Tide.
Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Her memoir Don’t Call Me Mother was a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Award, a finalist in the IndieExcellence Awards, and won the BAIPA Gold Medal award. Linda offers workshops internationally, and helps people capture their stories through coaching, editing, and online workshops.
Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Marianne Williamson, Huston Smith, and Paolo Coelho. Knight served as publisher of Cleis Press and was awarded IndieFab’s Publisher of the Year in 2014. Knight is the author of Wild Women and Books, Be a Good in the World, and Women of the Beat Generation , which won an American Book Award. Managing Director of Mango Media, she also serves as President of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.
2016 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
All of the winning entries can be found in the 2016 WNBA Writing Contest special edition of the Bookwoman Newsletter.
First Place: “Chef” by Nina Smith
Second Place: “The Ballerina and the Butcher” by Juliet Wittman
Third Place:”Wife with Knife” by Molly Giles
Honorable Mention: “Home Movies” by Rochelle Distelheim
First Place:”Pilgrimage” by Wendy Brown-Báez
Second Place: “Falsomagro” by Nadina LaSpina
Third Place:”On the Challenges of Not Reading in Planes or Decisions Born in the Dark” by Marie Chambers
Honorable Mention: “Vera Sheets” by Rita Juster
First Place:”Before Making Love” by Gail Entrekin
Second Place:”Gold, labor and exotic materials” by Grace Grafton
Third Place: “Mortgage” by Nicole Eiden
Honorable Mention: “Gliding” by Judy Bebelaar
2015 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
All of the winning entries can be found in the 2015 WNBA Writing Contest special edition of the Bookwoman Newsletter.
First Place: “If You’re Ready” by Allison Har-zvi
Second Place: “Hydroplaning” by Vicki DeArmon
Third Place:”Moths” by Kathleen Spivack
Honorable Mention: “Cold Comfort” by Kristen MacKenzie
First Place:”The Science Project” by Diane Kraynak
Second Place: “Kiss Me Again. She Did.” by Renate Stendhal
Third Place: “The Only Child” by Jayne Martin
Honorable Mention: “Ghost House” by Laura Ruth Loomis
First Place: “Curiosity” by Diana Whitney
Second Place: “Words [in transit]” by Sarah Wolbach
Third Place: “The Light-Lust of Trees” by Michelle Regalado Deatrick
Honorable Mention: “Comfort Woman” by Tanya Hyonhye Ko
2014 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
All of the winning entries can be found in the 2014 WNBA Writing Contest special edition of the Bookwoman Newsletter.
First Place: “Uncertainty” by Gayle Towell
Second Place: “Place Settings” by Susan Doherty
Third Place: “Katie Earnhardt’s Theory on Eggs-Over-Easy” by Tracy Sottosanti
Honorable Mention: “Five O’Clock Somewhere” by Julia Tracey
First Place: “Late October Light” by Rebecca Olander
Second Place: “Demeter’s Lament” by Kathryn Gullickson
Third Place: “The Night a Woman Died on My Street” by Amy Schmitz
Honorable Mention: “Milk” by J.H. Yun
2013 WNBA Writing Contest Winners
All of the winning entries can be found in the 2013 WNBA Writing Contest special edition of the Bookwoman Newsletter.
First Place: “A Prize in Every Box” by Jessica Wallin Mace
Second Place: “Beauty” by Anne Pound
Third Place: “All Mine” by Deborah Batterman
Honorable Mention: “Dorie” by Christine Eskilson
First Place: “Abandoned Garden” by Ellaraine Lockie
Second Place: “Mirror Mirror” by Harriet Shenkman
Third Place: “Light Bends Around Shadows” by Ruth Hill
Honorable Mention: “Airport Proposal” by Amy Wright
Become a WNBA member now, and you’ll be able to enjoy a discount on the writing contest fee for our upcoming competition.