Celebrating our region’s writers

Christine Webb reads from her work.

By Alisha Siebers, Director of the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center

As a first-time judge for the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center Tournament of Writers, I was impressed by the variety and quality of entries this year. The pandemic certainly opened up the wells of creativity in our region. We received a record number of entries, from writers ranging from age 5 to 93. As I read the entries, I noticed repeated themes of hope and depictions of lessons learned from the past. Our local writers captured deep beauty and wisdom in their images and stories.

We’d like to announce here the first-place winners for the 2021 Tournament of Writers. In the Fiction Category, the winners are: Hayden Moden, Junior Division; Sky Lester, Young Adult Division; Christine Webb, Adult Division; and Ralph Ackley, Senior Division. The Non-fiction first-place winners are: Eleanor Ross, Junior Division; Jacob Miller, Young Adult Division; Christine Webb, Adult Division; and Carol Braymer, Senior Division. Our first-place Poets are: Lillian Ross, Junior Division; Sydney Kaiser, Young Adult Division; Ross Landers, Adult Division; and Mark Stucky, Senior Division.

I encourage you to put your thoughts to paper and to consider entering our next tournament. Your stories need to be heard! I never cease to be amazed by the magic of storytelling. A few strokes of a pen and some details here and there – a description of a bumpy nose, an image of a greenish pond in a park, a memory of crushed mulberries – and a whole world is shared between reader and writer. If you want to be inspired and enriched, join us for our Tournament Celebration on Wednesday, September 15 at 5:30 at R & R. At that event you can experience the storytellers’ worlds yourself by hearing authors’ readings and by purchasing our 2021 Anthology of all of the entries. Join the VCAC in our mission to support and celebrate local writers! Together, as a community, we can educate, enrich, and inspire.

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