Pirate's Alley Faulkner SocietyWords & Music

William Faulkner - William Wisdom

Creative Writing Competition


Winners, Runners-up, Other Finalists

All of the judges for the 2011 competition have completed their work. Here are the results.

Winners of 2011 competition were presented at Words & Music, 2011 at the annual meeting of the Faulkner Society on November 11, 2011. They represent the best of an extraordinary year of entries, one of the best groups of entries since the competition was created in 1992. They are:


Peter Selgin
or Winter Park, FL and New York, NY, author of The Water Master, Novel; Chris Waddington of New Orleans, LA, author of After Freddie Left, Novella; M. O. Walsh of Baton Rouge. La, author of Whiteflies, Novel in Progress; Terri Stoor of New Orleans, LA, author of A Belly Full of Sparrow, Short Story, left to right, above.



Jacob Appel of New York, NY, author of The Man Who Was Not My Grandfather, Essay; M'Bilia Meekers, of New Orleans, LA, author of The Spirit of Louis Congo, Poetry; and Ruth Marie Landry of Metairie, LA, author of Nerve Endings, Short Story by a High School Student, left to right above.

For lists of others who placed in all categories,
Click Here!




In the novel category, the Society received 292 entries. This means that those who placed in the semi-finalist category were in the top 50 per cent of entries in the category; those who placed on the long list for novel were in the top 35 per cent; those on the short list placed in the top 15 per cent. We had an extraordinary number of novels this year which
deserve publication with minor tweaking. The novels selected as finalists are all quite different in subject matter and approach. Two are historical novels, one is about love, another is about aging and family, another is about an urban crime and vulnerability, another is about the disappearing core of American life, small towns, and the unique characters of Small Town, America. Each author has taken an an imaginative approach to the subject matter and created characters to whom the reader is drawn.

Novel Winner:
The Water Master
by Peter Selgin of Winter Park, FL and New York, NY

Equal Runners-up:
Bad of Country by Tadzio Koelb of New York, NY
Echoes of Love and War
by Joyce Miller of Cincinnati, OH


Will Murphy is an Executive Editor at Random House, where he has worked for six years. Previously, he was a senior editor at the University of Minnesota Press, and the literary editor at the University of California Press in Berkeley. Will was recently was named one of "50 Under 40," who matter in publishing by Publishers Weekly. Murphy has become known for editing books that matter, such as the powerful Finn by Jon Clinch and the beautiful work by Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence; as well as The Second World: Enemies and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna. Also on his list are How Success Happens by David Brooks and The Battle of the Crater by Richard Slotkin. Other authors include include Jeff Shaara, David Brooks, Bernard-Henri Levy, Philip Zimbardo, and Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 16 weeks.


All in a Name, Lawrence Wells, Oxford, MS
, Garic Barranger, Covington, LA
Richard Weber and Elizabeth Haraldsdottir-Thomas, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland

For Short List, Long List, and Semi-Finalists, Click Here!


The Society received 123 entries, somewhat fewer than usual. Preliminary round judges
commented that many of those rejected as finalists were too long and unwieldy for the novella format and recommended that the authors consider streamlining the story line and either drastically editing for length or re-write as a novel. The final judge last year, National Book Award winner Julia Glass, made the same comment about some of the finalists last year and in response to her comments the Society reduced the maximum allowable words. Other critical comments related to flawed openings and closings, overcomplicated structure with too many plot lines for the novella format, and worn out subject matter with nothing new to offer the reader. Overall, however, preliminary judges were complimentary about writing skill exhibited but highly critical of the abundance of sloppy editing exhibited in the entries.

After Freddie Left
by Christopher Waddington of New Orleans, LA
First Runner-up:
O Fortuna by Paul Negri, Clifton, NJ
Second Runner-up:
by Christopher Waddington of New Orleans, LA

Elise Blackwell
is the author of the novels
The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish
, Hunger,
Grub. Her newest novel, published in 2010, is An Unfinished Score, which revolves around classical music and performing artists. Her books have been selected for numerous "best of the year" lists, including the
Los Angeles Times
, Sydney Morning Herald, and Kirkus. Her short stories and criticism have appeared in Witness,Topic, Seed, Global City Review, and Quick Fiction.
A native of Louisiana and a graduate of LSU,
Elise lives in Columbia, S. C., where she is director of the MFA/CreativeWriting Program at the University of South Carolina, one of the best MFA programs in the country.
For more on Elise and here work, Click Here!


A Madman in the House
, Vicki Salloum, New Orleans, LA
Nick Krait (AKA Thomas Zuzich), Chicago, IL
Diary of a Darling
, Wendy Ralph, Columbia, SC
, Joe Dwyer, Sacramento, CA
Life on Hold,
Virginia Tell, Baton Rouge, LA
Love in Foreign Lands
, Julie Rold, Boston, MA
Masters of Demise
, Mary Frances, Las Cruces, NM
, Peter Orr, New Orleans, LA
My Father's Last Mistress,
Richard Weber, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland
, Diana Shamoon, Remsenberg, NY
The Beehive
, Adam Sturtevant, Brooklyn, NY
The Mighty Cook Lafitte
, Johnny Goldstein, St. Louis, MO

For Short List and Semi-Finalists, Click Here!


by M. O. Walsh of Baton Rouge, LA
First Runner-Up:
Falling by Cindy Willis of Burien, WA
Equal Second Runners-up:
Hannah Delivered by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrey, Minneapolis, MN
Sound of Falling Darkness
by Lyn di Lorio, Brooklyn, NY  
The Invention of Violet
by Amy Boutell

As with the novel category, we have a treasure trove of riches in the Novel-in-Progress
category. We received 268 entries and these entries included more manuscripts which come close to our "Ready for Publication" standard. For those of you who plan to enter this category again, it is important for you to remember that a good synopsis is part of the judging process. It needs to set the stage for your excerpt.

Jeff Kleinman
is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents) with most international publishers.  He’s a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), the University of Chicago (M.A., Italian), and the University of Virginia (B.A. with High Distinction in English).  As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn an incredibly variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career.  His authors include Garth Stein, Robert Hicks, Charles Shields, Bruce Watson, Dean Faulkner Wells, Neil White, and Philip Gerard. Nonfiction: especially narrative nonfiction with a historical bent, but also memoir, health, parenting, aging, nature, pets, how-to, nature, science, politics, military, espionage, equestrian, biography. Fiction: very well-written, character-driven novels; some suspense, thrillers; otherwise mainstream commercial and literary fiction.  No: children’s, romance, mysteries, westerns, poetry, or screenplays, novels about serial killers, suicide, or children in peril (kidnapped, killed, raped, etc.).


African Son, Peter Tattersall, New Orleans, LA
Bailout, Kate Bullard Adams, Charleston, SC
Bondage, John Malone, Lafayette, LA
Caught in the Storm, Mary Culver, Covington, LA
Darwin, William Coles, Salt Lake City, UT
Discipline the Devil's Country, Mike Ditchfield, Edgartown, MA
How to Make Moonshine, Jana Cromartie Sasser, Edisto Island, SC
Judah P, Scott Sullivan, New Orleans, LA
Lincoln on the Water, Emily Wheatley Pease, Williamsburg, VA
Matter of Midwinter, Elizabeth Haraldsdottir-Thomas, Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland
Men of The Earth, Timothy Jay Smith, Paris, France
Motion of Souls, James Clafey, Los Angeles, CA
One Good Mamma Bone, Brenda McClain, Nashville, TN
Shanghai Snag, Ken Mask, Lafayette, LA
Tears of the Foot Guard, Tim Osner, Melvin Village, NH
The Amazing Life and Loves of Billy Joe Roe,
The Missionary’s Wife,Caroline Kellems, Guatemala City, Guatemala
The Principles of Mining, Sharon Thatcher, Boise, ID and Wayland Stallard, Roanoke, VA
This is Squalorville, Brian Schneider, St. Helen, MI
The Thread, Thomas Greer, Avon,IN
Waiting for Something Else, Martin Cloutier, Brooklyn, NY

For Short List Semi-Finalists, Click Here!

Short Story

Short Story Winner:
A Belly Full of Sparrow
by Terri Stoor of New Orleans, LA
First Runner-Up:
The Pancho Villa Coin by Marylee MacDonald of Tempe, AZ
Second Runner-up:
The Summer of My Faith
by Will Thrift of Columbia, SC

Short Story


Michael Signorelli has been at HarperCollins Publishers since 2005.  His list ranges widely from poetry and stories to novels and memoirs to graphic novels and design.  He edits New York Times bestselling authors Kenneth C. Davis and Thomas C. Foster; internationally acclaimed  novelists Dennis Cooper, Richard Milward, and Tony O’Neill; memoirists Dan White, Kevin Sampsell, and Gerry Hadden, and Barnes & Noble Discover Finalist (and New Orleans’ own) Barb Johnson, among others. Recent books of note include Three Delays by Charlie Smith; Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor, and The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris. He created and wrote HarperCollins’s poetry blog www.cruelestmonth.com and helps manage HarperPerennial’s blog www.olivereader.com. Michael’s keen for fearless yet disciplined début fiction and for culturally significant non-fiction by experts in their field. He graduated from Hamilton College and lives in New York City.


, Lynn Straus, Chicago, IL
Assisted Living
, James Harmon, Decatur, GA
Beth Bird's Chocolate Cakes, etc....,
Rebecca Mitchell-Dhillon, New York, NY
Blue to Green
, Brian Schneider, St. Helen, MI
Death Without Benefits
, Wendy S. Simons, Stevensville, MI
Hapless Harvey,
Mary Kuykendall-Weber, Middle Grove, NY
History of a Torrid Relationship
, Owen Goodwyne, Tallahassee, FL
Not By a Long Shot,
Robin Martin, Brooklyn, NY
Riding the Wave
, Anne Woods, Tiburon, CA
Ten Stories,
Maurice Ruffin, New Orleans, LA
The Necklace, William Coles
, Salt Lake City, UT
Thirty Days in the Springtime,
Charles Broome, New Orleans, LA
Two Cranes,
C. D. Noonan, Carrboro, NC
Unpaid Mourners,
Ren Easterling Agena, Mandeville, LA
What Felt Good At The Time, Chris Waddington, New Orleans, LA
Wrestle the Rain
, Garic Barranger, Covington, LA

For Short List an Semi-Finalists,
Click Here!


The Society received 126 essay entries for the 2011 competition about normal for this
category. The preliminary round judges have been highly entertained by the wide range of subject matter introduced to this category this year and are complimentary about the unusual approaches some authors have used for their essays.

Essay Winner:
The Man Who Was Not My Grandfather
by Jacob Appel of New York, NY
First Runner-Up:
In Apartment 102 by Ellen Ann Fentress of Jackson, MS
Equal Second Runners-Up:
Bird Dog by Terri Stoor of New Orleans, LA
Return to Civilization by Brian Schneider, St. Helen, MI


Rosemary Daniell's book Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (and Sisterhood) Can Change Women's Lives, was published by Henry Holt and Company, 2006 to great acclaim. Known as one of the best writing coaches in the country, Rosemary is the founder of Zona Rosa, the series of creative writing workshops she has led for 25 years in Savannah, Atlanta, Charleston, and other cities (including New Orleans), as well as in Europe. Her first book on Zona Rosa, The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself: Writing and Living the Zona Rosa Way, was published by Faber & Faber in 1997. Daniell's revolutionary memoir, Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex and Suicide in the Deep South (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1980; Henry Holt & Company, 1989; Hill Street Press, 1999) won the 1999 Palimpsest Prize for a most-requested out-of-print book, and was re-issued that year. Along with her second memoir, Sleeping with Soldiers (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1984), Fatal Flowers was a forerunner of the current memoir trend. She is the author of four other books of poetry and prose. Among her many awards are two N.E.A. Fellowships in creative writing, one in in poetry, another in fiction. For more on Ms. Daniell and her work, Click Here!


A Link to Life, Allen Huard, Metairie, LA
Bombs, Spirits, and Slow, Sensual Dances
, Vana Plaisance, Abbeyville, LA
Cousin de la Louisiane,
Ned Cheever, Texarkana, TX
Neanderthal in C Minor
, Steven Wise, Columbia, MO
Ode to a Dropped "R",
Penelope Dane, Baton Rouge, LA
, Linda Prather, Vienna, VA
School Days, Wendy Ralph, Columbia, SC
The Demise of Quiet
, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Trying Once Again,
Sudy Vance Leavy, Darien, GA
, Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, New Orleans, LA
When Dreams Turn Vivid
, Kira Janene Holt, Wimberly, TX

For Short List and Semi-Finalists,
Click Here!


In the poetry category, the Society received 101 entries and, again, we have received a lot of complimentary remarks from judges about the originality of the theme material. The finalists have been forwarded to Rodger Kamenetz to select the winner and runners-up.

Poetry Winner:
The Passion of Louis Congo
by M'Bilia Meekers of New Orleans, LA
Equal Runners-up:
My Women by Anne Webster, Atlanta, GA
No Waterline by Elizabeth Tsubai, Bellaire, TX

Rodger Kamenetz, poet, essayist, non-fiction author, teacher, and popular lecturer, will judge the poetry category of the 2011 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. For the last several years, Rodger has been deeply involved in research and analysis of what our dreams mean, research which produced the compelling book, The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul. Since this non-fiction work was published Rodger has continued his research and, during Words & Music, he will address. The Importance of Last Night's Dreams in the Global Village. Kamenetz is the bestselling author of The Jew in the Lotus, his journey through Bhuddism to recover his faith as a Jew, including lengthy interview sessions with the Dali Llama, Stalking Ellijah, and Terra Infirma, a brilliant memoir about the author's relationship with his mother in his dreams after her death. Last year, he published the non-fiction work, Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman Of Bratslav and Franz Kafka, the links between two incredible storytellers.


Absence, S.T. Eleu, Chicago, IL
A Lullaby for Kjerstin
An Absence of Crocodiles: An Antiphon for Two Choirs
, Garic Barranger, Covington, LA
, Amy Arthur, Chicago, IL
evermore, mr. poe,
Nettie Parker Bauman, West Hartford, CT
Jimmy The Bass Player’s Restaurant Reviews,
Stephen Thomas Roberts, Lagrangeville, NY
Last Dinner at Louie’s with Levis
, Jane Satterfield, Baltimore, MD
Mania, Nettie Parker Bauman, West Hartford, CT
Materialistic Virtues
, Kiki Denis, New York, NY
New century/old century, three acts,
Tad Bartlett, New Orleans
Nuit Blanche,
Alex Mandella, New Orleans, LA
Plastic Cup Pantoum,
Jeanette deVeer, Arabi, LA
Spirit Vessels
, Dennis Formento, Slidell, LA
The Homeless Trilogy
, Pat Gallant and Paul Saluk, New York, NY
The Whirlwind Sessions
, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Treat Yourself to the Magnificent Enchantment
, Jenn Marie Nunes, New Orleans, LA
The Limit Perfected Fish, J. Ed. Marston, Chattanooga, TN

For Short List and Semi-Finalists, Click Here!

Short Story by a High School Student

Short Story by a High School Student

Nerve Endings by Ruth Marie Landry of Metairie, LA
Sponsoring School:
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Anne Gisleson, Creative Writing Director.
Equal Runners-up:
An Unimportant Occurrence by Gideon Vincini, New Orleans, LA
Sarah Reiner, New Orleans, LA
Jeanette DeVeer by Arabi, LA
The Wait for Paradise
by Anthony Otten, Erlanger, KY


Tom Carson, author of the new novel Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter, also is the author of Gilligan’s Wake, a New York Times Notable Book of The Year for 2003. Currently GQ’s “The Critic,” he won two National Magazine Awards for criticism as Esquire magazine’s “Screen” columnist and has been nominated two more times since then. He also won the CRMA criticism award for his book reviews in Los Angeles magazine. Before that, he wrote extensively about pop culture and politics for the LA Weekly and the Village Voice, including an obituary for Richard Nixon in the latter that the late Norman Mailer termed “brilliant.” He has contributed over the years to publications ranging from Rolling Stone to the Atlantic Monthly. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Black Clock. His verse and other random writings can be found at tomcarson.net. In 1979, he was the youngest contributor — with an essay on the Ramones — to Greil Marcus’s celebrated rock anthology, Stranded. With Kit Rachlis and Jeff Salamon, he edited Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough: Essays In Honor of Robert Christgau in 2002. Born in Germany in 1956, he grew up largely abroad “at the hands of the U.S. State Department.” He graduated in 1977 from Princeton University, where he won the Samuel Shellabarger award for creative writing. A former resident of Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles, he now lives in New Orleans with his wife, Arion Berger, and can be found all too often at Buffa’s Lounge on Saints’ days. For more on Carson and his new novel, Click Here!
Photo here by Victoria F.Gaitàn.


A Pinch of Morphine, M'Bilia Meekers, New Orleans, LA
Bewitched Mill
, Alex Mandella, New Orleans, LA
George Wallace, New Orleans, LA
Conversations with Old People,
Kim Tran, Arlington, TX
Cube Perception,
Lauren Armantrout, New Orleans, LA
How Mice Vanish
, Allie Casala, New Orleans, LA
Kissime, Florida,
Alexandria Samples, New Orleans, LA
, Asiah Crutchfield, New Orleans, LA
Ready, Able
, Ryanne Autin, New Orleans, LA
Raley Pellitieri, Ponchatoula, LA
Sickle in the Night Silence
, Tyler Lirette, Boutte, LA
, Alison Poulin, New Orleans, LA
The Solo
, Elizabeth Theriot, New Orleans, LA
The Pursuit,
Yuxi Liu,  

For Short List and Semifinalists, Click Here!  




Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society
624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
phone: (504) 586-1609 or (504) 525-5615
fax: (504) 522-9725
Join Our E-News List