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Annual Contest Winners



Poetry judge: Lori Howe, the author of Cloudshade: Poems of the High Plains (2015) and Voices
at Twilight (2016), as well as the editor of Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of
Wyoming Writers (2016). She is the co-creator of the new poetic form, the cadralor, and serves as
Editor in Chief of Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor. Lori Howe won the Wyoming Arts Council's
Poetry Fellowship in 2021. She is a professor in the Honors College in Laramie.

Traditional Poetry

1st place Seasons – Aaron E. Holst, Sheridan

2nd place Nature's Prophet – Craig Youngblood, Panama City, Florida

3rd place The Great Monarch Butterfly Migration – Daniel Moreschi, Wales, UK

Honorable mentions:

A Beckonin' – Peter Tirrell

Romance at the Dance – Don Oakley, Gillette

The Great Serengeti Migration – Daniel Moreschi

Free Verse

1st place After Claire Sherman's Cliff II– Jennifer Voyles, Cheyenne

2nd place Can't Hold it In My Hand – Myra L. Peak, Green River

3rd place April Kathy Bjornestad 

Honorable Mentions:

March Kathy Bjornestad

Disappearing Mandie Hines, Cheyenne

It Falls Apart in December – Mandie Hines


Adult Fiction:

Judge: K.S. (Karen) Jones writes historical fiction and contemporary Western romance. Her work
has garnered the WILLA Literary Award, the Chaucer Award, the RONE Award, and twice she
has received the Literary Classics International Book Award. Formerly a Wyoming resident,
Karen now lives in the Texas Hill Country, where she is currently working on book #4 in the
True Hearts of Texas series for Wolfpack Publishing.

1st place When Dogs Kill Birds Peter Tirrell

2nd place – Wyoming Art Museum Terrell Gray, Rozet

3rd place Thirst Janna Urschel, Laramie

Fiction for Children and Young Adults:

Judge: Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, KB Taylor writes historical fiction and
nonfiction based on family history. Her first novel, The Seagirls of the Irene, won the 2020
WILLA Literary Award, children’s category. Her second novel, Hattie’s Family: Through the
Eyes of a Dairymaid, won the 2021 Will Rogers Gold medallion, Western romance. Her third
novel, Forging Through Unknowns, won the 2022 Will Rogers Bronze.

1st place Shelter Me With Wings (Escape) Kathy Bjornestad 

2nd place – The Forlorn Pony – Lindsay Curran, Riverton

3rd place – The Harper – Janna Urschel 

Honorable Mentions:

The Second Saturday in October – Reatha Thomas Oakley

Climbing in the Shadow of Tschingel – Todd Bacon, Laramie

Flash Fiction:

Judge: Laurel Anne Hill classifies her third award-winning novel, Plague of Flies: Revolt of the
Spirits, 1846, as historical fantasy/magical realism. Her second novel, The Engine Woman’s Light
has won a total of 13 honors and awards plus a Kirkus Star. Over 30 of Laurel’s short stories and
many of her short nonfiction pieces have been published, including one scientific paper. She has
been a member of California Writers Club San Francisco Peninsula Branch for over 20 years,
serving as its Fault Zone: Editor-in-Chief for three of its nine anthologies.

1st place Minds at Work Peter Tirrell

2nd place – The Last Stand– Terrell Gray

3rd place – Sill Crow and Naked Man – Peter Tirrell

Honorable mentions:

A Royal Love Story – Reatha Thomas Oakley

Samhain – Terrell Gray

Over the Hill – Terrell Gray


Judge: Jennifer (Jennie) Lawrence, Laramie. Retired from teaching high school science,
Lawrence continues her interests in that area as a Certified Wyoming Naturalist. She is the author
of the Willa Award winning book, Soap Suds Row: The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses 1802-
1876, published by High Plains Press, Glendo.

1st place Figuring Out JW Coop – Peter Tirrell, Norman, Oklahoma

2nd place Wild Garden – Kathy Bjornestad, Belle Fourche, South Dakota

3rd place– Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire! – Peter Tirrell

Honorable Mentions:

The Summer of '64 – Reatha Thomas Oakley, Gillette

Growing Up Ranch – Jean (B.J.) Helmer, Belle Fourche, South Dakota 

A Different Mix – Marian Sisneros, Casper

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