Art, music, writing set the stage for 2nd annual Writers Contest in Cynthiana

How do you cure writers block? was the first question fielded by Karen Angelucci; the keynote speaker at the LVC Writers Contest Awards Banquet held Thursday March 25th at the Prizing House in Cynthiana. Merlot. Angelucci quipped, without hesitation. The roar of laughter from the audience set the tone for the evening where local aspiring writers were honored for their work in the second annual Writers Contest sponsored by the Licking Valley Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College and the Cynthiana Arts Council.

The Kuster Lecture given by Karen Williams Angelucci gave the audience a double dip of fun and useful information for both their writing aspirations and their gardening hopes as well. She kept the audience in stitches while she administered great gulps of strong academic stimulation.

The Writers Contest and Awards night has grown from its beginnings last year. Thirteen honorees from four different categories were presented with cash prizes, certificates and ribbons. The night opened with LVC Director and founder of the Writers Contest, Bruce Florence reading the winning poem, County Magic, penned by long-time Harrison County resident Beverly Steffe. Steffe told the crowd that she often throws away pieces when she becomes frustrated with the writing. Angelucci encouraged her to never throw away anything she writes because others may enjoy it.

The banquet also featured the eclectic art of local doctor Greg Cooper and his family. Dr. Cooper, the artist, exhibited works of pencil, ink and oils. The art show was put together by Arts Council member, Beverly Cooper. Ive wanted a venue to show people Dr. Coopers talent. Cooper said. We were so happy to provide such a great setting to showcase his work. Florence, fellow member of the Arts Council, stated that the council looked for ways to combine arts opportunities. The Prizing House is the perfect backdrop for this sensory experience. Florence said.

Florence recruited serious talent for the judging process including authors George Ella Lyon, Lynn Shaffer, and Kentuckys Poet Laureate, Gurney Norman. Lyon, Shafer and Norman provided personal critiques of each submitters work, something that thrilled Florence. It is such an amazing opportunity to have someone at this level critique your work. Gurney has told me twice now, how impressed he is with the talent pool here in Cynthiana. Florence stated. Norman sent a letter that was read at the opening of the banquet. It praised the participants and encouraged their continued pursuit of the writing craft. Lyon wrote personal letters to the submitters in the Childrens Fiction section giving them advice on writing in this genre.

Kelly Grenier, soloist, provided even more entertainment for the crowd of 150 plus. The night featured art, music and writing. Award presenters included Bill Kuster, Laura Todd Simpson, Tim Crumbie, James Gray representing Kentucky Bank, and LVC Faculty member Donna Slone. Kens New Market was an underwriter for the event. The honorees, in first, second and third place order were: Poetry-Beverly Steffe, Sylina Jett, William Todd King. Fiction-Tamera Hicks, Eva Kristine Cox, Marilyn Bell. Non-Fiction-Jean Ann Kerr, Anita Hatfield-Baker, Christine Philpot. Childrens Fiction-Loretta Gibbons, Alexia Schulstad, Tamera Hicks. The Lane Award and Grand Prize went to Jean Ann Kerr. Kerr received a cash prize of $500 dollars and a dozen yellow roses. Last years Lane Award winner, Marilyn Bell presented Kerr the award.