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The Olive Woolley Burt Awards

For Creative Writing

Winners announced at the Quills Conference Awards Ceremony
August 12, 2023


Winners! Be sure to download your award logos for use on your websites and social media.
Visit the contest award logo download page here.

New Voices

Non-Fiction

  • First Place - Sharman Ober-Reynolds "Shadow Boxing" (Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Anne Stark "The Kings and Queens of Portugal" (Cache Valley Chapter)

  • Third Place - Brandy Woolley Green "What Now?" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Tori La Rue "Unperfect Me" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Patti Smith "Who Gets the Ventilator" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

  • Honorable Mention - Lisa Hoelzer "Out of Agony Comes the Cure" (Unaffiliated) 

Poetry

  • First Place - Brandy Woolley Green "The Artist's Portrait" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Second Place - Megan Condie "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Third Place - Daniel Moreschi "A Glacier's Glide" (Unaffiliated)

  • Honorable Mention - Megan Condie "To RJ Walker: From the Block on Top of Your Brick" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention -  Megan Condie "To the Black Person I Did Not March With" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Brandy Woolley Green "Iridon of Sacrifice" (Salt City Genre Writers)

General and Literary Fiction

  • First Place- Megan Condie "The Smell of Books" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Caudine DiScala "Cosmic Call" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Third Place - Megan Condie "Fowles and Saint Peter" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention -  Gail Boling "The Spelling Lesson" (Salt City Scribes) 

  • Honorable Mention - Debbie Melander "Tech-niche" (Nebo Novelists) 

  • Honorable Mention - Marion Hanson "Dystopia Disrupted" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

Genre Fiction

  • First Place - Brandy Wooley Green "The Undone" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Second Place - Pablo Mendez "The Blue Door" (Unaffiliated)

  • Third Place - Alberto Squassabia "To Nurse a Taint of Hope" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Honorable Mention - Stephen Harmon "The Ghost of Montezuma Canyon" (The Infinite Monkeys)

First Chapter - YA/MG

  • First Place - Debbie Melander "Wings of Night" (Nebo Novelists)

  • Second Place- Emily Miner "Legends of Llyria" (Unaffiliated)

  • Third Place - Brandy Woolley Green "Chapter 1: The Undying Sea" (Salt City Genre Writers

  • Honorable Mention - Breanna Frost "Nature's Guard: King's Wrath" (Unaffiliated)

  • Honorable Mention - Bob Carey "The Knot" (Utah Valley Legends)

  • Honorable Mention - Pablo Mendez "The Nightroamer" (Unaffiliated) 

 

First Chapter - Adult

  • First Place - Christine Dixon "Lost in Their Yesterdays" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

  • Second Place - Charity Nelson "Bionic Woman" (Just Write Chapter)

  • Third Place - Megan Condie "The Summer Tango" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Megan Condie "The Summer We Danced" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Brandy Wooley Green "Chapter 1: Lyonesse" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Anne Stark "The Gamble" (Cache Valley Chapter) 

Established Writers Categories

Poetry - Freeform

  • First Place - Brandy Woolley Green "We, the Sisters Three" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Second Place - Josie Hulme "Love Poem to Gravity" (Just Write Chapter)

  • Third Place - Josie Hulme "Cancer" (Just Write Chapter)

  • Third Place - Lillian Angelovic "Winter Gardening" (Red Butte Bards, Salt City Scribes) 

  • Third Place - Valarie Shenk "Rain is the Starward Soldier" (Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Lillian Angelovic "Revelation" (Red Butte Bards/Salt City Scribes)

  • Honorable Mention - Denis Feehan "Erik" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

  • Honorable Mention - Marie Tollstrup "All Right Rant" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

Poetry - Light Verse

  • First Place - Charlene Harmon "The Ancient Willow" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Second Place - Charlene Harmon "Here and Not Here" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Third Place - Greg Goodman "Gravity" (Red Butte Bards)

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "The Library's Raining" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Eye of the Beholder" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Brandy Woolley Green "Wildly, the Wormwood" (Salt City Genre Writers)

Poetry - Haiku

  • First Place - Marie Tollstrup "In Pendant Splendor" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Second Place - Brandy Woolley Green "Grandfather of Haiku" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Third Place - Charlene Harmon "Squid Souffle" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Territorial Butterflies" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Darkness Rising" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Butterfly Rumble" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

Poetry - Limerick

  • First Place - Valarie Shenk "Badger Blues" (Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Charlene Harmon "Haunting Season" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Third Place - Brandy Woolley Green "Twittering" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Star Cycle" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Brandy Woolley Green "Ironical" (Salt City Genre Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Bladder Control" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers)

Poetry - Narrative Poem

  • First Place - Andy McQuinn "The Story of Steven" (Unaffiliated)

  • Second Place - Lillian Angelovic "As Yeats Lost Love" (Red Butte Bards, Salt City Scribes)

  • Third Place - Jef Huntsman "Holding Memories" (Red Butte Bards)

  • Honorable Mention - Jef Huntsman "The Love Story" (Red Butte Bards)

  • Honorable Mention - Jef Huntsman "One Shot" (Red Butte Bards)

  • Honorable Mention - Jef Huntsman "Predator" (Red Butte Bards)

Flash Fiction - Author’s Choice

  • First Place - Inna Valerie Lyon "Farewell, Ladies" (The Infinite Monkeys/Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Rufo Tolentino "Wasted" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Third Place- Denis Feehan "The Illusionist" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Honorable Mention - Patrick Partridge "If My Mom Wanted Children" (The Infinite Monkeys, Salt City Scribes)

  • Honorable Mention - Denis Feehan "Fame" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Honorable Mention - Jo Lynne Harline "Belle, From Elko" (Blue Quill) 

Flash Fiction - Writing Dangerously

  • First Place - Patrick Partridge "The Break Out" (The Infinite Monkeys, Salt City Scribes)

  • Second Place - Inna Valerie Lyon "Return to Itaka" (The Infinite Monkeys, Blue Quill)

  • Third - Heidi McDonald "The Man With Seven Doors" (Cache Valley Chapter)

  • Honorable Mention - Michelle Chamberlain "Love Tantrum" (Blue Quill)

First Chapter - Middle Grade

  • First Place - Claire Bahamón "The Giving Gifts" (Unaffiliated)

  • Second Place - Evelyn Furbish "A Debt of Care" (Cache Valley Chapter)

  • Third Place - Inna Valerie Lyon "Runaway Letter" (The Infinite Monkeys, Blue Quill)

First Chapter - YA

  • First Place - Megan Condie "Blood Horse Empire" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Amanda Empey "White Crown" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Third Place - Jodi L. Milner "Lilke Sand, Like Glass" (Oquirrh Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Rachel DeFriez "Kingdom of the Blind" (The Infinite Monkeys) 

  • Honorable Mention - Johnny Worthen "Between Two Hills" (The Infinite Monkeys)

  • Honorable Mention - Austin Wrathall "Abel Excelsior" (The Herriman Chapter)

First Chapter - Adult

  • First Place - Anna Bessesen "Between Impossible and Inevitable" (SLC Writers Group, Triple Q's, Salt City Genre Writers, Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - David Rodeback "The Earl's Third Son" (Good AF Writers)

  • Third Place - Stephen Capone - "Living Through - Chapter 1 - Day One (again)" (Salt City Genre Writers, SLC Writers Group)

  • Honorable Mention - Patrick Partridge - "Fast on Fifty" (The Infinite Monkeys, Salt City Scribes)

  • Honorable Mention - Patrick Partridge "John Francis Robinson III" (The Infinite Monkeys, Salt City Scribes)

  • Honorable Mention - Cambria Williams "A Night Without Stars" (The Infinite Monkeys)

Creative Non-Fiction

  • First Place - Olivia Engstrom "The Stars on Our Skin" (Unaffiliated)

  • Second Place - Megan Condie "The Good Girl's Chemical High" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Third Place - Monica Williams "One of Them" (Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Megan Condie "A Daughter Like Me" (Just Write Chapter, Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Anna Bessesen "Manic State of Mind" (SLC Writers Group, Triple Q's, Salt City Genre Writers, Blue Quill) 

  • Honorable Mention - Inna Valerie Lyon "From Russia, With Borscht" (The Infinite Monkeys, Blue Quill)

Nonfiction 

  • First Place - Rachel DeFriez "Finding the Moment" (The Infinite Monkeys)

  • Second Place - Doug Gibson "The Wilding" (Blue Quill)

  • Just Write Chapter)

  • Third Place - Michelle Chamberlain "Spring Chicken" (Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention - Rachel Webb "Why I Threw my Autistic Son Into Shark Infested Waters" (Heritage Writers Guild) 

  • Honorable Mention - Lorraine Jeffery "Legacy of Reading" (Red Butte Bards) 

  • Honorable Mention - Stephen Capone "From Coal Country to Park City: A Review of King Coal" (Salt City Genre Writers, SLC Writers Group)

Spiritual Essay

  • First Place - Marie Tollstrup "Born Again" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Second Place - Alberto Squassabia "The Confusion About Blessings and Hair Dressings" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Third Place - Callie Stoker "Life's Ride" (Blue Quill)

 

Short Comic or Screenplay

  • First Place - Emily Robyn Clark "Suffer Her Rage" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Second Place - Bryan Young - "The Strike Out" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Third Place - Emily Robyn Clark "Apocalypse Messiah" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Bryan Young "The Fine Print" (Salt City Genre Writers)

  • Honorable Mention - Bryan Young "The Break Up" (Salt City Genre Writers)

Screenplay

  • First Place - Candace Thomas "Fate and Karma Meet for Coffee" (The Infinite Monkeys, Oquirrh Writers)

  • Second Place - Bryan Young "Doxxed" (Salt City Genre Writers)

Horror 

  • First Place - Katherine Monasterio "A Conspiracy of Cartographers" (Salt City Genre Writers

  • Second Place - Heidi Voss "Siren Ascending" (Salt City Scribes)

  • Third Place - Brenda Goates "Ashes to Ashes" (Unaffiliated)

  • Honorable Mention - Melissa Schack "The Fever" (Romance Chapter) 

  • Honorable Mention - Emilty Robyn Clark "Where Wolves Feed" (Salt City Genre Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Terra Luft "Trial of Shadows" (Blue Quill, Salt City Genre Writers)

Mystery & Thriller

  • First Place - Josie Hulme "Avaris" (Just Write Chapter)

  • Second Place - David Rodeback "I Helped the Police" (Good AF Writers, Blue Quill)

  • Third Place - Inna Valerie Lyon "Robert Frost is to Blame" (The Infinite Monkeys)

  • Honorable Mention -  Bryan Young "When the Bough Breaks" (Salt City Genre Writers)

Romance

  • First Place - September Roberts "Hart and Soul" (Blue Quill)

  • Second Place - Inna Valerie Lyon "Love Catharsis" (The Infinite Monkeys, Blue Quill)

  • Salt City Genre Writers)Third Place - Terra Luft "Tempting Truths" (Blue Quill)

  • Honorable Mention -  Wendee Valentine "Janus" (Chapter 1: Davis County)

  • Honorable Mention - Talysa Sainz "Inevitable" (Utah Freelance Writers, Salt City Genre Writers/The Infinite Monkeys) 

  • Honorable Mention - Amanda Hill "A Wicked Kilt" (The Infinite Monkeys)

Science Fiction & Fantasy 

  • First Place - John Olsen "Scrappers of the Great Starship" (The Herriman Chapter, Utah Freelance Writers, The Infinite Monkeys)

  • Second Place - Jessica Zarnofsky "The Final Altar" (The Infinite Monkeys, Salt City Genre Writers, Triple Q's)

  • Oquirrh Writers)Red Butte Bards, , Third Place - Charlene Harmon "Cosmic Concerto" (The Infinite Monkeys

  • Honorable Mention - Charlene Harmon "Crisis Point" (The Infinite Monkeys, Red Butte Bards, Oquirrh Writers) 

  • Honorable Mention - Alberto Squassabia "To Nurse a Taint of Hope" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Honorable Mention - Tim Heare "The Fight for Luna" (Salt City Genre Writers, The Infinite Monkeys)

General & Literary Fiction

  • First Place - Megan Condie "The Pastor's Wife" (Just Write ChapterBlue Quill)

  • Second Place - Christopher Jones "A Proper Name" (Heritage Writers Guild)

  • Third Place - Sky Simons "Desiccated Tears" (Salt City Genre Writers, Triple Q's)

  • Honorable Mention - Masha Shukovich "The Invisibles" (The Infinite Monkeys)

  • Honorable Mention - Stephen Capone "An Account of an Early Miracle Performed by the Child Jesus (as Reported to Roman Authorities" (Salt City Genre Writers, SLC Writers Group) 

  • Honorable Mention - Denis Feehan "The Mattress Tag" (Heritage Writers Guild)

DEADLINES AND ELIGIBILITY

 

•       Submission period begins March 13th and closes May 12th.

 

•       All entries must be the original work of the contestant.

 

•       Previously published works do not qualify for this contest.

 

•       Entries may not be entered into more than one category.

 

•       Works previously awarded a League of Utah Writers cash prize do not qualify for this contest.

 

•       AI Generated or Assisted Texts are not eligible.


 

Submitted entries are judged as initially submitted. Please reach out if your submission needs editing once it is in an "accepted" status.

 

Submissions claiming to be a member of the League of Utah will be verified for member eligibility. If membership will have lapsed or will be lapsed by September 2023, the submitter will be prompted to renew their membership. If a week goes by without their membership being renewed, the submission will be denied without their entry fee being refunded


 

REVIEWR

The submission process, judging, and feedback will all be done via Reviewr. 

 

 

NOTE: All JUDGING IS DONE BY A THIRD PARTY UNAFFILIATED WITH THE LEAGUE OF UTAH WRITERS

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In no way does the League of Utah Writers share your personal information with any third party. Any information of such a nature is only for use in contacting the submitter or allowing Reviewr to identify your account, should you need assistance.

 

Award winners will be announced at the Quills Awards during the Quills Conference. Please make sure your submission via Reviewr provides a valid MAILING ADDRESS, along with your email address. You do not need to be present at the awards ceremony to win. If you are not present and you place in a category, we will mail you your award, but can only do so with a valid mailing address. 

 

SCORING

 

All categories are judged on a scale of 1 - 10, 10 being the best score. Judges will also be required to leave feedback on your work. Please note that the specific rubrics judges will follow depend on the category of the submission. Judge feedback will be shared at the end of the contest.

 

Note: contacting a judge, editor, or agent regarding the contest (before, during, and after) will result in the contestant being disqualified from current and future participation in any hosted contests by The League.

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IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN BLIND JUDGING, your name or any other identifying information should NOT appear anywhere on your entry: not in the header, not in the body of the entry, not in the file name, no URL references, etc. Names are tracked through the Reviewr account info, to which the judges have no access. 

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FORMATTING GUIDELINES: Fiction and Poetry

 

 

FICTION

 

  • Use a 1″ margin on all sides

  • Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the story, usually the introduction, prologue, or chapter one.

  • Use a header on each page including the title of your entry, and the page number. e.g.  Once Upon a Time in Utah/12

  • Start each new chapter on its own page, one-third of the way down the page.

  • Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.

  • Each new paragraph should be intended .5 inches from the left margin. 

  • Double-space the entire text.

  • Fonts should be Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier, in 12-point. 

 

POETRY

 

  • Use a 1″ margin on all sides

  • Use a header on each page with the title of your entry, e.g. Thoughts of a Young Lyricist

  • The title of your poem should appear centered, six lines underneath your header.

  • Begin the poem one line beneath the title.

 

SCREENWRITING

 

CATEGORY GUIDELINES

 

Categories may be combined if there are insufficient entries. 

 

The contest is open for non-published work only. Self-published work is allowable provided you have sold fewer than 100 copies.

 

Each submission to the 2023 Olive Woolley Burt Awards may be entered into one category only. 

 

These guidelines are meant to assist you in deciding which category is most appropriate for each of your submissions. 

 

Some submissions might be appropriate for more than one category, nevertheless, a unique entry may only be submitted to one category. For example, a funny 1,000-word story about a botanist and a flight commander stranded on Mars might be suitable for flash fiction, science fiction, or romance, but may only be submitted to one of these. It is ultimately up to you to decide the category in which you feel your submission will fare best. 

 

If you have three unique pieces that fit a single category, you can enter all three in that category.  

 

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

 

Poetry

 

  • Narrative Poem - Poetry that tells a story. It is usually dramatic, with objectives, diverse characters, and meter. Form can be open or closed.

  • Freeform/Slam

  • Light Verse (Humor) - Verse with playful themes written primarily to please, amuse, and entertain.

  • Rotating Category 2023: Haiku

  • Rotating Category 2023: Limerick 

Prose - 5,000 Word Count Limit

 

  • General Creative Nonfiction - Factually accurate prose about real people and events, written in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. 

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Horror

  • Romance 

  • Mystery & Thriller 

  • General & Literary Fiction

  • First Chapter (Adult) - The first chapter of a novel that is intended for an adult readership, but of any genre or style. 

  • First Chapter YA/Middle Grade/Childrens - The first chapter of a novel that is intended for the young adult, middle grade market, or children’s market but of any genre or style. Please be sure to include one of these three labels in your text’s header.

 

Prose - 2,000 Word Count Limit

 

  • Nonfiction

  • Spiritual Essay

 

Flash Fiction - 1,000 Word Count Limit

  • Author’s Choice of Theme

  • Writing Dangerously

Short Prose Scripts 

  • Short Comic Script or Screenplay up to 25 pages

 

Screenplay

  • Feature Length Screenplay up to 120 pages. 

 

 

New Writer (New Voices) - 5,000 Word Count Limit

 

To be considered a New Writer, you must not have any paid publishing credits via a traditional publisher or earned money with self published text.


 

  1. Creative Nonfiction

  2. General Nonfiction 

  3. Poetry 

  4. General & Literary Fiction

  5. Genre Fiction

  6. First Chapter (Adult)

  7. First Chapter YA/Middle Grade/Children’s

 

FINAL NOTES

 

Contacting a judge, editor, or agent regarding the contest (before, during, and after) will result in the contestant being disqualified from future participation in any hosted contests by The League. 

 

Violation of the rules will result in a non-judged piece and forfeiture of entry fees. 

 

Categories may be combined if there are insufficient entries. 

 

SUBMISSION FEES:

 

$15 for League of Utah Writers Members

$25 for League of Utah Writers NonMembers

$80 for the Screenplay

 

PRIZES

 

OWBA Prose and Poetry Categories

 

First Place: $50

Second Place: $30

Third Place: $20

 

Screenplay 

 

First Place: $150

Second Place: $125

Third Place: $100

Contact

For questions regarding the Olive Wooley Burt Contest, please email us!

 

Past Year's Winners:

2022

2021

2020

2019

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About The Olive Woolley Burt Awards

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The Woolley Awards are named in honor of Olive Woolley Burt.

 

Olive Woolley Burt (1894-1981) was the founding president of the League of Utah Writers, serving in that role from 1935 to 1939. In 1927, she quit her job as a teacher to take a job as the children's editor at the Salt Lake Tribune and later went to work for the Deseret News in 1945 where she remained until her retirement in 1967. Burt wrote over 50 books for children and adults, though the most notable might be American Murder Ballads and their Stories in 1958. It won a special Edgar Award in 1959. She spent all of her years working tirelessly for the League, promoting writing as a profession and a hobby for all of the writers of Utah for almost 50 years. 

She was particularly fond of writing children's books that illuminated stories of possibility to children with an aggressively progressive bent. One book, First Woman Editor: Sarah J. Hale tells the story of the first woman in the United States to be the editor of a magazine. Another, Black Women of Valor, brought positive stories of Black history to white audiences who wouldn't otherwise hear them in times where racist attitudes ran rampant.

Read more about her here:

https://www.mappingliteraryutah.org/utah-writers/olive-woolley-burt

See a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1adMmab1M8 

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