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Rising Star Writing Competition winners chosen

BEND, Ore. - The Nature of Words (NOW) announces the winners of the 2013 Rising Star Writing Competition.

Now in its eighth year, Rising Star attracted nearly 200 submissions, a record for the most entries since the competition's inception.

Winners in fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry were chosen in three age categories: 15-18, 19-25, and 25+.

Submissions were judged by Central Oregon authors Jane Kirkpatrick (Fiction), Jason Graham (aka Mosley Wotta) (Poetry), and Lily Raff McCaulou (Literary Nonfiction).

Winners will be recognized and read their winning entries at the Rising Star Creative Writing Competition Awards Ceremony, the opening event of NOW's annual November literary festival. Winners receive a trophy, scholarship to a guest author workshop, a cash prize and inclusion in NOW's annual anthology of student writing.  
Fiction judge Jane Kirkpatrick, commenting on a winning entry, said, "I thought it a beautifully layered story inventively told… The voice is fresh and engaging, sparking the reader's imagination and thoughtfulness about family secrets… A very satisfying read." She offered this reaction to another winning submission: "The author creates tension and a mood within the first line that draws the reader in and puts the reader immediately inside the head of the primary character. I fully expect this could be the first chapter of a novel and hope this writer will continue to pursue writing as a profession."
The 2013 Rising Star winners are as follows:

Ages 15-18 
Winner: Laura Robson, Bend, OR; "Aloft"
Honorable Mention: Daniel Wolfert, Tacoma Washington; "Perhaps If"
Ages 19-25 
Winner: T.K. Waits, Bend, Oregon; "Bar Nuts"
Honorable Mention: Ruth Hovekamp, La Grande, Oregon; "Snow White, Rose Red, Sea Green"
Ages 25+ 
Winner: Joanna Elizabeth Lighty, Tacoma, Washington; "Sleepless"
Honorable Mention: Erika Kightlinger, Bend, Oregon; "Tiny Bubbles"
Ages 15-18
Winner: Mercer Hanau, Portland, Oregon; "The Writer"
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Nesbitt, Bend, Oregon; "I Will Tell the Audient Void"
Honorable Mention: Mercer Hanau, Portland, Oregon; "Macro Kinesis"
Ages 19-25 
Winner: Scott Goodenough, Bend, Oregon; "Iran Karapte"
Ages 25+ 
Winner: Mara Ferguson, Bend Oregon; "Can't Walk Away"
Literary Nonfiction
Ages 15-18 
Winner: Caylyn Sheldon, Redmond, Oregon; "Vacant and Bare"
Ages 19-25
Winner: Evan Gabriel, Portland, Oregon; "Zagora and Beyond"
Ages 25+ 
Winner: Gail Bartley, Bend, Oregon; "The Big Indian's Last Stand"
Honorable Mention: Daniel Murphy, Redmond, Oregon; "In the Absence of Snowballs"
Honorable Mention: Liz Dunn, Bend, Oregon; "Random Musings"
About the Rising Star Judges
Fiction judge Jane Kirkpatrick is a New York Times bestselling author of 23 books, including four nonfiction and 19 novels, most based on the lives of historical women. Her first novel, "A Sweetness to the Soul," won the Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center and was also named to Oregon's 100: The Best Books About Oregon Published between 1800-2000. She is the recipient of the Caldera Award from The Nature of Words; The Distinguished Northwest Writer's Award from Willamette Writers; a two time nominee for the Oregon Book Award and the National Christy Award, and a two time winner of the WILLA Literary Award from Women Writing the West. She is a requested panelist and speaker internationally on the power of stories in our lives, inspiring others to tell their stories and be transformed. A former director of Deschutes County Mental Health and consultant for many years to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Jane and her husband Jerry now live in Central Oregon after a quarter century of "homesteading" along the John Day River. Her twentieth novel, "One Glorious Ambition," based on the life of early mental health reformer Dorothea Dix, was released in April 2013.

Poetry judge Jason Graham, aka MOsley WOtta, aka MOWO, is a poet, performer, and painter. MOWO has played the Sundance Film Festival, MusicFestNW, TEDx, and the International PBR Festival. MOWO has opened for such influential hip hop acts as Gift of Gab, Tricky, Ice Cube, Talib Kweli and KRS-One. His band was voted best local music act in his home town of Bend, Ore. MOWO is a recipient of the City of Bend 2011 "Arts Beautification and Culture" award, and an invited speaker on The Nature of Words' "Mixed Experience Panel" with New York Times bestselling author Heidi Durrow. MOWO has also been a featured artist on Oregon Public Broadcasting's Oregon Art Beat for his writing, painting and music. He recently released his second full-length album, "KinKonK."

Literary nonfiction judge Lily Raff McCaulou is an award-winning journalist who has written articles about everything from professional mini-golfers to dogs trained to find wild animal scat for science experiments. Her first book, "Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt my Own Dinner" (Grand Central Publishing, 2012), has been featured in the New York Times and was one of the San Francisco Chronicle's best books of 2012. Part memoir and part journalism, it examines what it means to be a hunter in America today. She lives in Bend, Ore. with her husband, son and dog.
About The Nature of Words
The mission of The Nature of Words is to strengthen and support the literary arts and humanities in the Central Oregon high desert region through community interaction with acclaimed authors and through creative writing programs for students and adults. For more information about The Nature of Words, visit, call 541.647.2233 or email In Bend, visit NOW's literary arts center at 224 NW Oregon Ave.

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