Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation just announced the winners of its Annual Senior Writing Contest. The contest was open to seniors age 60-plus and required writing submissions of 500-750 words on a creative topic focusing on a special experience, person or period of time in their life.
Over 60 submissions were received from seniors living in local Connecticut and New York towns including Brewster, Pawling, Kent, Brookfield, Wilton, Sherman, Newtown, New Fairfield, Woodbury, Danbury, Southington, New Milford, Southbury, Litchfield and Ridgefield. The range of topics covered, and the style of creative writing used were abundant – making it challenging for judges to select winners. Therefore, it was decided to stray from the original First, Second and Third Prize award structure – and to work within a category structure as such:
Category (Writing Style and Story Detail Award): First Prize Winner: Robert S. Mellis “June 14, 1940”; Second Prize Winner: Art Carlson “The Bully” (Photo*); Third Prize Winner: Michael E. Garbowski “My Life Raft”; Third Prize Winner-Tie Ruth Crane “Tapioca Pudding.”
*Photo: Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Resident, Age 95, “My story is about the bully who used to chase me around town when I was a kid. I’d like to thank him for helping me keep so fit through the years. I’m still up and moving – he’s gotta be about 98; I wonder if he could still catch me. I heard that he recently moved back to town!”
Category (Humor and Reader Engagement): First Prize Winner: Yvonne Price “The Odds Have It!”; Second Prize Winner: R. Joseph Knudsen “My Mom Married a Spy (and Never Told Me); Third Prize Winner: William Vibbert “My Army Life”; Third Prize-Tie: Susan Pasternack “Uncle Earls Famous Barbecue.”
Category (Life Lessons and Inspiration): First Prize Winner: Barbie Gradia “The Bus, The Ice and The Angel”; Second Prize Winner: Pam Southworth “Rescuing Bailey”; Third Place Winner: Jane Couch: “Thank You for Being My Friend.”