First, please allow me to apologize for the fact that it took so long to judge the latest contest. We were overwhelmed by the number of entries (I think it was almost 80 this time!). Additionally, with the intensity of emotion in some of the posts, it was hard to decide between them. I am not overstating things to mention that this was the most difficult judging task that I have yet experienced. Big thanks again to the other judges: Paul Slaybaugh, Debe Maxwell, and Liz Moras.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on to congratulating the winners!
We ended up adding three honorable mention spots in order to include some stellar posts that deserved recognition, either because of the writing quality, the supremely personal nature of the posts, or both.
I would recommend having a box of Kleenex handy to dry your eyes for some of these.
Here we go…..
GRAND PRIZE – Inna Hardison – 5,000 Bonus Points!
Home is where the empty shot glass is… – Inna is arguably one of the most talented writers on ActiveRain. Her evocative post was the unanimous winner. Read it now to find out why.
2nd PLACE – Sally Dunbar – 3,000 Bonus Points
My best friend. My worst enemy. My brother. – I felt like I got to know both Sally and her brother Joe by reading this post. Thanks for sharing this one, Sally. I know firsthand that it takes courage to write this kind of post.
3rd PLACE – Jon Zolsky – 2,000 Bonus Points
Jon wrote of spending his childhood summers in Sukhumi on the Black Sea. His descriptive language made his memories a very enjoyable read.
Honorable Mention – Fernando Herboso – 1,000 Bonus Points
Fernando’s post was palpable in its emotion, especially since it was written from the perspective of a frightened young boy. Don’t miss this one.
Honorable Mention – William James Walton, Sr. – 1,000 Bonus Points
William’s post reminded me of some of the trauma that I experienced when I was a kid. The fact that his profile picture includes his son makes it even more poignant. William – I found your post to be courageous.
Honorable Mention – Michelle Viggiano – 1,000 Bonus Points
Michelle is clearly a talent, and I was happy that she took the time to write something for the contest. I could imagine myself alongside her as a child, discovering “aliens” everywhere. Great stuff!
THANK YOU so much to all of you for taking the time to enter this contest. I had this one in mind for over a year before launching it, and it was actually the brainchild of my friend Adam Waldman (who is now a fellow Texan, by the way).
I intended for this to be an exercise in writing to get people to practice their skills using something that everyone can relate to, and I was not disappointed. I learned a lot of cool stuff about my friends here. 🙂