Sept. 26, 2017
Home / Articles / Arts / Writing Contest /  Author, Author!
12.01.10 Writing-Contest

Author, Author!

SFR Presents the 2010 winners of our annual writing contest

November 30, 2010, 1:00 am
A cowboy searches the desert for an old man; a woodcutter loses his prey to another hunter; a political candidate ponders deficits of all sorts. These are the characters who populate this year’s winning fiction entries in SFR’s annual writing contest. Fiction writers were given free rein with their topics, but all were required to incorporate certain words into their stories.

Poets this year had a more specific task: to focus on “Santa Fe at 400,” and write about the city different, be it past, present or future.

Finally, non-fiction writers were asked to consider “crime”—from any angle.

This week, SFR presents all the winners, and the winning entries from the fiction and poetry categories.

Please check this post next week to read all the nonfiction winning entries.

As always, participation in the contest was robust, and we relied heavily on our esteemed judges to pick this year’s winners. Congratulations to all who participated. Keep writing—next year’s contest will be here before you know it.

The Judges

Porochista Khakpour ( is a faculty member in the Creative Writing and Literature Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Khakpour was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Chicago Reader, Paper, Flaunt, Nylon and Bidoun, among many other publications. Her debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, received acclaim from The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle, won the 77th Annual California Book Award in First Fiction and was a Chicago Tribune “Fall’s Best” selection and a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.”

Miriam Sagan is the founder and director of the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College. Sagan has authored more than 20 books, including Pushcart Prize nominee Tanka from the Edge, Map of the Lost, Gossip and Searching for a Mustard Seed. She has held residency grants at Yaddo and MacDowell, and is the recipient of a grant from The Barbara Deming Foundation/Money for Women and a Lannan Foundation Marfa Residency. In addition to working on site-specific poetry installations, Sagan writes and curates the poetry blog

Robert Wilder ( is a teacher and writer, whose column “Daddy Needs a Drink” appears the first Wednesday of each month in SFR. Wilder has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Creative Nonfiction, Working Mother, El Palacio, The Greensboro Review, The Colorado Review, and elsewhere. He has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, On Point and many other regional and national radio programs. Both of his nonfiction books, Daddy Needs a Drink and Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge, have been optioned for sitcom adaptation. In 2009, Wilder was the only individual to receive the Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation


1stJodi Drinkwater is very grateful for winning the Santa Fe Reporter writing contest for the second time. (She won in 2008). Writing about the cowboy for a second time was a great experience, and Jodi plans to continue to explore the cowboy’s adventures. Jodi is a writer and painter in Santa Fe. To see more of her work, visit Read her story HERE.

2ndAlex Greenspan was born and raised in New York. He went to college in Albany and is now traveling around America. He moved to Albuquerque about five months ago and, in about five more, he will be moving to New Orleans. It is his goal to forge a career as a writer and has no doubt that this will happen. Read his story HERE.

3rdThom Harding moved to Santa Fe this August, and is in love with the natural beauty and energy of this amazing place. Born in the UK, Thom lived in Boston during high school, then spent two years in Baltimore followed by two years in Florence, Italy, studying art history and painting. After graduating, Thom travelled and worked in India for a few months before moving out to New Mexico. His best times are spent reading, writing, hiking, working with kids, and making music and art. Thom has been writing for 10 years, and is greatly influenced by Pynchon, García Márquez, Tom Robbins and Kundera. Read his story HERE.


1stWhen Catherine Ferguson was 15, she traveled by car with her grandmother, Ruth Dickinson, from Phoenix to Santa Fe. They ate lunch at The Shed, then located in Burro Alley. Catherine was surprised that the tortillas were blue. She never forgot the beauty of northern New Mexico. In 1972, Catherine’s mother, Susan Ferguson, took an art class at Ghost Ranch. Catherine visited and never left the area. She lives in Galisteo. Inspired by her love of nature and the Southwestern landscape, animals and trees, she paints watercolors, oils and retablos, reinterpreting this traditional New Mexican art form. She writes poems that express her passion for the life lived on this land. Catherine teaches retablo and watercolor painting. She is the author of eight chapbooks. In 2007, she received the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry for The Sound a Raven Makes, a collection with two other poets, Sawnie Morris and Michelle Holland. Read her poem HERE.

2ndSometimes Lauren Camp is a visual artist and sometimes a poet. For more than six years, she has hosted and produced radio programs on KSFR. Currently, you can hear her sophisticated stew of words and music on Audio Saucepan (Sundays at 5 pm). Her first poetry collection, This Business of Wisdom, was recently published by West End Press. Since she had never written a book before, she’s particularly proud of this one. She leads creative writing workshops in Santa Fe, and exhibits her artwork around the country. Learn more at Read her poem HERE.

3rdEmily Pepin’s family moved to Santa Fe with a U-Haul and two poodles when she was 9, at which point she screamed at a stinkbug and fell in love with the mountains. Since then, she has been published by Más New Mexico, the Santa Fe Reporter (where she was an intern in 2008), plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing 2009, The Redlands Review, and the Census anthology. She graduated from the University of Redlands in 2009 with a degree in English and human ecology. Emily leaves for West Africa in March 2011 as a Peace Corps volunteer. You can reach her at Read her poem HERE.


1stMario Gonzales lives in Santa Fe but works in Las Vegas. He is currently working on a novel about rural Mexico, luck and mystification. He has three children who have yet to legally emancipate themselves. He is grateful for their love.

2ndRichard Jay Goldstein lives and writes in Santa Fe, and has been publishing stories, essays, and poetry in the literary and sci-fi/fantasy/horror press for 20-some years. His wife is Santa Fe percussionist Polly Tapia Ferber. They have two grown-up sons and two really cute granddaughters.

3rdDianne Layden is a semi-retired college professor and writer in Albuquerque. Her field is American studies. She came to New Mexico in 1969 and left the state twice for faculty posts at the University of Houston and University of Redlands in Southern California. She returned in 2001 as an administrator at Santa Fe Community College. Campus violence is one of the subjects of her research. Currently, she teaches part-time at Central New Mexico Community College, where she has assisted with development of campus safety policies. Her research interests now focus on New Mexico history and culture. She is at work on a project on the Rudolfo Anaya—Bless Me, Ultima Landscape Park in Santa Rosa, which she has presented to the New Mexico Historical Society.

Continue reading: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 |


comments powered by Disqus


* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):

@SFReporter on Instagram