The University of Maine at Fort Kent's Presidential Lecture Series committee has awarded three individuals as the winners in the UMFK-sponsored bi-annual writing contest conducted this spring.
Shelly R. K. Spier, from New Canada was selected as the contest winner. Joshua Boucher, from Fort Kent, and Thomas “Tony” Enerva, from Fort Kent, were second and third, respectively.
Spier, Boucher, and Enerva were chosen from among the many students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who submitted entries of a very short story, within 600 words.
The panel of jurists for the writing contest included: Lise Pelletier, director of UMFK”s Acadian Archives Acadiennes; Dr. Doris Metz, UMFK associate professor of curriculum and instruction; and, Dorothy Hopkins, retired UMFK writing specialist. Before the entries were sent to the judges, all identifying information about the authors was removed. After reading all of the entries and giving each careful consideration, the judges selected the winners.
Each essay submitted for the 2012-2013 Presidential Lecture Series writing contest was read by the judges without their knowing the name of the author. They were unanimous in agreeing that the essay, entitled “A Sled Ride Memory,” ranked as the best essay submitted for fall and spring contest. Katie Levesque, from Fort Kent, is the recipient for the 2013 Ourson Literary Award. The award was presented to her at the UMFK's 4th Annual Scholars' Symposium, held on May 3.
The purpose of the award is to encourage beginning writers and to acknowledge their contributions to the creativity of the area. The award offers in a small tangible way, an appreciation for the emerging efforts of those who wish to develop their creative writing skills. The award is not just for professional quality work, but for the best early efforts of writers. The award is to encourage achievement, not just to acknowledge excellence.
The six winning entries from the fall and spring writing contests were published in the Potato Chips Chapbook, which was distributed at the Symposium.