Tag Archives: writers

Congratulations Writing Contest Winners

The Winners of our First Micro-Fiction Contest

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who submitted an entry to UPK’s very first, Micro-Fiction contest! We had a great time reading through the entries, and it was incredibly difficult to select the grand-prize winner and runners up. But select we did!

Our entrants were asked to write an ekphrastic micro-fiction (300 words, or less!) piece of prose or poetry in response to one of two images:

3 Runners-Up will win 1 Kentucky fiction or poetry book of their choice published by the University Press of Kentucky, and 1 Grand Prize Winner will win a prize pack of 3 Kentucky fiction or poetry books published by the University Press of Kentucky.

View our fiction titles here. Find poetry titles here.

And now, we present to you, the

Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations Patricia Holland of Paris, Kentucky, for her prose piece: “Threads!”

And, congratulations to our three runners-up:

Liz K. (“Thread Baring”)
Sarah H. (“Sewing Not”)
& Rich G. (“And Still You Sew On”)

Threads

My great-grandmother Nanny believed she could foretell the future by studying the clipped threads and bits of fabric that caught on the hem of her skirt whenever she made a new dress.

She taught me to sew and as I pedaled away on her treadle machine, she also taught me to respect her strange, Irish superstitions. To her, those stray threads found on my clothing had landed there to help her analysis my future. Different colored threads meant different things. Black did not mean death. Blank was the color of my true love’s hair. Threads in red, yellow, green or pink were fine unless they were from my wedding dress. My Nanny sang, “Married in red, you’ll wish you were dead/ Married in yellow, you’re ashamed of your fellow/Married in green, you’ll be ashamed to be seen/Married in pink, your spirit will sink/ But when you marry in white, you’ll find the love of your life.”

For a time after she taught me how to sew, I believed that stray threads really could show me a glimpse of my future. Do I still believe that those bits of colored thread have a mystical meaning and power? No, I don’t; but I still remember and treasure Nanny’s long-ago lessons. So as I sew up my white wedding gown and think about the pattern my life will take, I’ve taken a mare’s nest of tangled threads from the bottom drawer of Nanny’s sewing machine and made a small silk drawstring bag to hold them.

I do believe in traditions so I’ll make sure that on my wedding day I’ll have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Nanny’s tangled threads are old, my dress is something new. My Irish lace veil will be borrowed and my garter will be blue.

Read the entries from our runners-up after the jump

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Deadline EXTENDED! Enter the UPK Ekphrastic Micro-Fiction Contest

We’re extending the deadline of our Fantastic, Ekphrastic, Micro-Fiction Contest! Enter by next Wednesday, August 12 for a chance to win a Kentucky Writers Prize Pack!

Ekphrasis, if you don’t know, is writing inspired by art. The art can provide a setting for the writing, provoke a response from the writer, elicit a memory, or anything that allows the writer a chance to “converse” with the art through words. We’re hosting an Ekphrastic Micro-Fiction Contest, and picking 4 winners to share with the community.

Here’s how it all works:

We’ll give you two images to pick from for Ekphrastic inspiration. Using one of the images as your jumping off point, craft a poem or short story as your contest entry. Entries should be 300 words or less, or your piece will be disqualified. Submit your entry using the Google Form below by Wednesday, August 12 at 5 pm. We’ll announce the winners Friday, August 14.

What will you win?

1 Grand Prize Winner will win a prize pack of 3 Kentucky fiction or poetry books published by the University Press of Kentucky. View our fiction titles here. Find poetry titles here.

3 Runners-Up will win 1 Kentucky fiction or poetry book of their choice published by the University Press of Kentucky.

All the fine print: Winners will be chosen by UPK staff members. Only U.S. residents are eligible to win. Entries must be less than 300 words and use one of the two images provided as inspiration. Submit entries using the Google Form below by Wednesday, August 12 at 5 pm.

The Prompts:

Image 1

Bottling Line Split Carol Peachee The Birth of Bourbon

“Bottling Line Split” from The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries by Carol Peachee

Image 2

Sewing Table Kentucky By Design

“Mahogany Sewing Table” from Kentucky By Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture edited by Andrew Kelly

2015 Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame

Next week, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in downtown Lexington will hold the third annual induction of the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame. The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of our commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about our state’s rich literary heritage.

The requirements for the 2015 class have altered slightly from years past. For a writer to have been eligible this year, they must be (1) deceased (excluding one living writer), (2) published, (3) someone whose writing is of enduring stature, and (4) someone connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In order to be nominated, each author had to undergo a three step process including nominations from the general public, recommendations from a committee comprised of former state poet laureates and the director of the Kentucky Arts council, and a final review and selection done by the Carnegie Center’s Hall of Fame Creation Committee.

This year’s inductees have been described as “eloquent, inspirational, and sometimes downright outrageous” by the Hall of Fame founder and Carnegie Center executive director, Neil Chethik. The full 2015 class is listed below:

      
Wendell Berry (Henry Co.)      Elizabeth Hardwick (Fayette Co.)      Effie Waller Smith (Pike Co.)

     
Jim Wayne Miller (Warren Co.)   Guy Davenport (Fayette Co.)  Hunter S. Thompson (Jefferson Co.)

The University Press of Kentucky proudly honors these authors, having worked with many of them at some point in their career. A small spotlight will go out to UPK book, Every Leaf a Mirror: a Jim Wayne Miller Reader, with a short reading by Mary Ellen Miller, Jim Wayne’s widow, during the ceremony.

The six winners will be officially inducted on Wednesday, January 28, at the Carnegie Center, 7 PM (Doors open at 6:30 PM). This event is FREE and open to the public.To get in the spirit of the induction, here is a poem from Every Leaf a Mirror titled “His Hands”:

His Hands
He noticed his hands, how they
cracked each other’s knuckles, how his fingers
thrummed restlessly on every tabletop,
foraging for magazines, snuffling about
in his pockets for cigarettes, like a dog
tracking a mole. He noticed his hands
reassuring one another, noticed them
turning on television sets when he wasn’t looking,
like horses who learn to open
gates and barn doors with their noses.

He knew his hands had learned from him
how to seem independent, how to hide
from the larger creature they were just a part of.
His hands were only children
telling on the street what they’d heard at home.

He walked in the woods.
Fish hung in his veins, shadows fanning.
Birds circled his farthest green thoughts.

He came home after dark, the mood following
like a friendly old dog. At home he noticed
his hands, alert, looking up, trying
to start a game of fetch.

A Look Inside “Appalachian Elegy”

To promote this week’s giveaway, we’re featuring poems from Appalachian Elegy by author, activist, and educator bell hooks. One of our favorites speaks of freeing oneself and enjoying life in the Kentucky hills:

landingpg_mountains4[1]23.

bring Buddha
to rest home
in Kentucky hills
that outside each window
a light may shine
not a guilt teaching tradition
be balanced
know loving kindness
end suffering
rejoice in the oneness of life
then let go
carry nothing on your back
travel empty
as you climb steep mountain paths

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway by 1 pm tomorrow (Friday, February 8) for a chance to win Appalachian Elegy!

Giveaway Countdown: Six Fascinating Facts about the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Inductees

This week, we’re giving away a book by one of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame finalists. Respond by Wednesday, January 30 at 1:00 pm for your chance to win!

The six inaugural Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame inductees were responsible for some amazing “firsts” and accomplishments. For instance, did you know . . .

1) William Wells Brown’s Clotel is considered the first novel written by an African American.

2) Elizabeth Madox Roberts’s frail health kept her from college until 1917 when, at age 36, she enrolled at the University of Chicago. There, her colleagues recognized her original genius and helped her launch a late-blooming but productive literary career which included her acclaimed novel The Time of Man.

3) Robert Penn Warren is the only person to have ever won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction (All the King’s Men) and poetry (Promises and Now and Then).

4) Harry M. Caudill’s masterpiece, Night Comes to the Cumberlands, prompted President John F. Kennedy to appoint the Appalachian Regional Commission and led to the investment of more than 15 billion dollars in aid in the region over twenty-five years.

5) Harriette Simpson Arnow’s novel Hunter’s Horn finished close to James Gould Cozzens’s Guard of Honor in the voting for the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Joyce Carol Oates has called the book “our most unpretentious American masterpiece.”

6) James Still, author of River of Earth, is the only inaugural member of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame not to have been born in Kentucky, but he lived in the state longer than any of the other inductees.

See more interesting facts about the inductees on our influence map, which visualizes the global reach and impact of these great Kentucky writers, and don’t forget to register for our giveaway.

Mapping the Reach of Kentucky Writers (Don’t Miss our Giveaway)

This week, we’re giving away a book by one of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame finalists. Respond by Wednesday, January 30 at 1:00 pm for your chance to win!

Last week, the Carnegie Center in Lexington announced the six inaugural inductees to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame: Harriette Simpson Arnow, William Wells Brown, Harry Caudill, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, James Still, and Robert Penn Warren.

As part of our celebration, we’ve created a map to visualize the global reach and impact of the inaugural inductees—featuring titles from the University Press of Kentucky as well as our friends at Louisiana State University Press, Michigan State University Press, the Jesse Stuart Foundation, and universities and libraries across the country.

A Famed Giveaway: Celebrating Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Nominees

The Carnegie Center in Lexington has created a Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame to honor 200 years of writers in the state, and we’re celebrating with a special giveaway!

From the field of thirteen finalists, six writers will be selected as inaugural members of the Hall of Fame and their names will be announced at a public gathering on January 24. The University Press of Kentucky is proud to publish books by and about many of the finalists, and, this week, we’re giving away one of these books to a lucky winner.

View eligible books here.

The Finalists:

  • Harriette Arnow
  • William Wells Brown
  • Harry Caudill
  • Thomas D. Clark
  • Guy Davenport
  • John Fox Jr.
  • Janice Holt Giles
  • James Baker Hall
  • Thomas Merton
  • Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  • James Still
  • Jesse Stuart
  • Robert Penn Warren

To enter our giveaway, fill in the required fields below with your name, address, and the title of the book you would like. (View the eligible books here) We will randomly select one winner on Wednesday, January 30 at 1:00 pm.

Good luck, and spread the word!