And the Winners Are…

Time to break out the champagne! Streetlight Magazine’s second annual essay/memoir contest ended July first and the judging was completed yesterday. Whew!

Seriously, we’ve looked at a lot of great essays. Writing something meaningful, and one hopes, memorable, in eight hundred words or less is no mean feat. I have been full of admiration—and just a smite of envy—to see how so many of our entrants managed exactly that. It’s been a rewarding project. So, let’s see.

Alex JoynerStreetlight Magazine is happy to award first prize to Alex Joyner for his essay, Spirit Duplicator, a poignant, unsentimental—but touching—account of returning in maturity to a place and people known in childhood. This short essay mixes an awareness of the historical past with a sharp remembrance of personal experience. Alex Joyner is a minister, teacher, blogger, and all round observer of his own and other’s lives with a wealth of experience, living in many parts of the country. He currently lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and blogs at Heartland. Sharp-eyed readers of Streetlight will also note that he has blogged for this magazine, but the judges, of course were unaware of that. Still, welcome back, Alex—in this new role.

Anne CarsonSecond prize goes to Anne Carle Carson for her essay Sliding, a compelling and tactfully rendered account of an adult’s fall from grace, and the attendant anguish, seen through the eyes of a young teenager. A marvel of close observance and deep understanding, this essay takes us to the core of pain without flinching and yet, without mawkishness or judgment. Anne is from Richmond Virginia. This essay is part of a longer work in progress, another fact unknown during the judging process. It stands on its own brevity, an invitation to the larger work. Welcome, Anne!

Photo of author Richard KenneyThird prize was taken by Rich H. Kenney’s Holding Onto Silver, a brisk and very funny account of what happens when teenage distraction interferes with paternal injunction. Rich Kenney was most recently published in this magazine just last spring and those who haven’t seen it are invited to look back at his essay, Miss Madden. Rich is from Nebraska and still, as we understand it, obsesses about baseball and many other topics. Yes, welcome back, Rich.

These three essays will appear in the Summer Quarter issue of Streetlight Magazine. Spirit Duplicator will be first. Sliding will appear about two weeks later, and Holding Onto Silver, about two weeks after that. Watch for them. You’ll be glad we told you to.

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