Savannah Authors was founded in 2011 by Christopher Scott (author of thirteen fiction and nonfiction books) and Alice Vantrease (author of two books ). The membership has slowly grown to about thirty. Savannah Authors encourages first-class prose writing, fiction or nonfiction, using discussion, constructive criticism, instruction, and examples. We meet twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Meetings generally consist of one or more readings, a prompt or an exercise, and perhaps a review of basic skills, with plenty of time to review the events that affect all of us. Meetings are generally either in the heart of Savannah, or midtown, at Victory Drive.
Membership is open to everybody with a passion for writing. We welcome unpublished authors, new writers, and people who just want to know more about our craft. We limit ourselves to prose, both fiction and non-fiction, and presentations for this year have been split nearly evenly between the two.
The End of the World as We Know It, written by Annie Hilliard, Savannah GA
The judges said “The narrator in The End of the World as We Know It speaks with a sincerity and frankness that cuts to the universal core of love and loss. That loss is literally a galactic map of primal emotion. And all this is done with subtlety, not pathos.”
Annie Hilliard graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University of Maryland. Aside from university recognition, this is her first prize-winning story.
Posy, written by Susan Johnson, Savannah GA
“Posy is a charming, engaging story with a somewhat unexpected twist. The vivid details and realistic dialogue successfully create the environment for the reader,” according to the judges.
Susan Johnson has won several prizes for her short stories and screenplays. Her play, Finders Weepers, has been performed nationwide since its initial performance in 1993. Susan also wrote columns for The Georgia Gazette and The Savannah Morning News. Visit her homepage for more of her work and credentials: http://susanbjohnson.com.
Third Place (tie)
Maggie and the Snake, written by Bonnie Stanard of Columbia SC and Alfred, written by Joseph Guderian of Saint Mary’s GA
“Maggie and the Snake is a richly textured story of calm domesticity and vengeful desire. The elements work together in surprising ways.”
Bonnie Stanard is currently working on the fourth novel in a series. Her previous novels are Sonny, Cold Slave Cradle; Kedzie, Saint Helena Island Slave; and Master of Westfall Plantation. She is a member of the Columbia II Writer’s Workshop. She is an experienced editor and has also published poetry. Her homepage is http://www.bonniestanard.com.
“Alfred is a spare, quietly compelling story that fictionalizes elements in the life of Alfred Chester, a daring American writer who lived much of his life abroad. The reader is left feeling like the self-effacing narrator is much more a part of the story than he lets on.”
Joseph Guderian’s last piece was published in Saint Mary’s Magazine, which does not normally publish fiction. He has published a number of other pieces, both on the web and in print. He previously worked as a writer in advertising and public relations, and now specializes in short fiction.
Judy Trout of Tybee Island GA, for The Red Rubber Truck
Ryan Schill, of Kennesaw GA, for The Colossal Electric Decision Switch
Charlie McOuat, of Hilton Head SC, for Learning from Mice
Judy Trout writes short stories and poetry, and is working on her first book. This is Ryan Schill’s first recognition for fiction; he is a journalist and edits two publications dealing with juvenile justice. Charlie McOuat lives in Hilton Head and has done a number of short stories on the minutiae of life and their greater meaning.
Each of these pieces will be published in The Savannah Anthology, due out in early 2014.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to our judges.
Beth Concepcion is the Writing Department Chair and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She received her PhD from the University of South Carolina, and has deep credentials in journalism and broadcast communications as well. She has been recognized as a local notable by Savannah Business Journal's "40 under 40" Notable Savannahians, and has received two Irene Ryan Award nominations, a Georgia Association of Broadcasters Award of Merit, among many other honors.
Chad Faries is the author of two collections of poetry, The Border Will Be Soonand The Book of Knowledge. A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, he lived and taught in Central Europe for many years. Currently he teaches at Savannah State University, where he also hosts a radio program on WHCJ 90.3. When not in Thunderbolt, Georgia, Faries gets lost on his motorcycle whenever he can. Above all, he is a "Yooper"—a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Bill Dawers is the Editor of Savannah Unplugged, an English instructor at Armstrong Atlantic State University and a freelance columnist at Savannah Morning News and SavannahNow.com. Bill is known for his trenchant columns, his knowledge of Savannah, and his thoughtful analysis of how Savannah is evolving.
Savannah Authors will hold a small reception for our honorees and judges in the middle of November. We were surprised by the number and quality of all of the entries, and we were gratified to be find judges of this caliber. We plan to hold another contest next year; please watch for the announcement.