2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition: Ruffin gets gold medal, Choate places, and other Peauxdunque finalists

The final results in all categories of the 2014 William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition (run in conjunction with the excellent Words and Music writers’ conference) have been announced, and Peauxdunque is proud to be the home of a new gold medalist: Maurice Carlos Ruffin has won the gold medal in the novel-in-progress category for his work, All of the Lights! (Peauxdunque’s previous gold medalists areTerri Shrum Stoor in the short story category in 2011, and Emilie Staat in the essay category in 2012). Of All of the Lights, category final judge M.O. Walsh observed:

All of the Lights is more than a novel in progress. It is an absolute gift. The story of a black lawyer in an all-white firm, battling personal demons and marital challenges, racism and the complications of ambition, this is a novel with every level of conflict you could ask for: internal, external, familial, racial, social, immediate, and looming. Yet, in spite of this, All of the Lights also manages to be quickly paced and funny. It feels heartfelt and true because the author is the real deal and his characters—BL, Penny, and Nigel—are the benefactors of his skill. So, of course, are we. This is a novel to fly through once for pleasure and then return to savor the little things you may have missed; all the gems scattered about in the author’s clear prose and insight. Ruffin seems to know what makes us human, what makes us interesting, and a book like All of the Lights, the promise of it, is the reason I read. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see this one on bookshelves soon.

Competition coordinator Rosemary James added that, in the novel-in-progress category, “All preliminary round judges selected one entry as the standout, as their first choice. … [A]ll of them sent back words to the effect: ‘All of the Lights is the clear winner.'”

Maurice also won second place in the essay category, with his essay, “A History in Motion.” Final round judge Jane Satterfield wrote, “The vivid and resonant prose of A History in Motion reveals a writer’s fierce ambition to survive and transcend a parent’s suffering, as well as heartfelt tenderness and hope despite the disquieting signs surrounding him.” The essay is already slated for publication in an upcoming Cicada magazine.

In the short story category, Peauxdunquian Emily Choate won third place for her story, “Sky Fire Shrine Machine”! Final round judge Patrick Samway commented:

This story dramatically relates how Nadine comes to terms with the previous amorous relationships of her co-worker Brant, as they sell fireworks whose names provide a wonderful description of their increasingly tense relationship: Incoming!, Napalm Rampage, Exploding Night Arsenal, and Last Chance. Such explosive pyrotechnic devices provide a wonderful comment on the structure of this story.

Other Peauxdunque finalists in the short story category were Tad Bartlett for his story, “Flock Apart,” and Maurice, with his story, “The Boy Who Would Be Oloye.” Emily‘s story, “Eufala,” was on the short list for finalists in the category, along with Tad‘s story, “Superpowerless.”

In the novel category, Peauxdunque’s J.Ed. Marston and Tad Bartlett were finalists with their collaborative novel, The Truth Project.

J.Ed. was also a finalist in the poetry category, for his piece, “Saturday Stops.” Peauxdunque’s Cassie Pruyn, the second-runner-up in the category in 2013, had another finalist poem this year with her piece, “Lost Love Lounge.”

The announcement with full results is here: 2014_Winners

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2014 Faulkner-Wisdom lists are out, with some Peauxdunque representation

Once again, it’s the time of year when the lists of finalists, short-list for finalists, and semi-finalists are released for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition, held in conjunction with the annual Words & Music Conference put on by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. And once again, there is heavy Peauxdunque representation on the lists.

Five Peauxdunquians are responsible for eight different finalist pieces in five different categories. Tad Bartlett and J.Ed. Marston have a collaboratively written manuscript named a finalist in the novel category. Maurice Ruffin has a manuscript finalist in the novel-in-progress category, and another piece that’s a finalist in the essay category. Emily Choate, Tad, and Maurice each have stories that are finalists in the short story category. And Cassie Pruyn and J.Ed. both have pieces that are finalists in the poetry category (Cassie was second runner-up in that category in 2013).

Also, Emily and Tad each had additional short stories that were named to the short list for finalists in that category. Final winners and runners-up among the finalists in all categories are scheduled to be named on or around September 25, Faulkner’s birthday, so stay tuned!

Cassie Pruyn second runner-up in Faulkner-Wisdom competition; and an interview

Peauxdunquian Cassie Pruyn’s beautiful poem, “Two Places,” was named second runner-up by judge Beth Ann Fennelly in the poetry category of the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Competition! Congratulations to Cassie! Also at the conclusion of judging, Peauxdunque’s J.Ed. Marston was a finalist in the poetry category with his piece, “Steel on Wood”; and Tad Bartlett was a finalist in the short story category with his story, “Riding in Cars at Night.”

Link to the full listing of competition winners and finalists.

Also, Peauxdunque’s Emilie Staat (last year’s gold medal winner in the essay category of the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition) was recently interviewed by Hothouse Magazine. You can read that great interview here.

Marston and Pruyn are poetry finalists

Congratulations to Peauxdunquers J.Ed. Marston and Cassie Pruyn, who have been named as finalists in the poetry category of the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition!

As we reported last week, Peauxdunquian Tad Bartlett is a finalist in the short story category of the Faulkner-Wisdom competition (with Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Keri Rachal on the short list for finalists in that category). Winners and runners-up are scheduled to be announced on Faulkner’s birthday, September 25.

Peauxdunquians on the 2013 Faulkner-Wisdom lists

In 2011, Peauxdunque’s Terri Shrum Stoor won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom gold medal in the short story category. In 2012, Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat won the Faulkner-Wisdom gold medal in the essay category. In 2013, Peauxdunque’s Tad Bartlett will try to defend the medal streak, as one of his stories has been named a finalist in the short story category to be judged by Ron Rash. Also in the short story category, Peauxdunquians Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Keri Rachal were named to the short list for finalists. Several categories of the competition have yet to have finalists released; we’re keeping our eyes on those.

Don’t forget that next week, on July 25th, Maurice and Terri will be featured readers at the Poison Pen Reading Series in Houston.

Emilie Staat accepts her Faulkner-Wisdom essay prize

During this past weekend’s Words and Music Conference, Emilie Staat received the gold medal in the essay category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition for her essay, “Tango Face.”

Emilie acceptance photo

Andrew Lam, judge of the essay category of the competition, took the occasion to describe Emilie’s work:

Peauxdunque reads at Words and Music

Yesterday, November 28, six Peauxdunquians read from their fiction and nonfiction, and a seventh was the emcee, during a session of the 2012 Words and Music Conference at the U.S. Mint in New Orleans. The emcee for the event was Peauxdunque’s own Terri Stoor, who was the 2011 gold medal winner in the short story category of the Faulkner-Wisdom writing competition, awarded by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in conjunction with the Words and Music Conference.

Terri Shrum Stoor emcees the Writers Alliance reading at the 2012 Words and Music Conference

The first reader was this year’s gold medal winner in the essay category of the Faulkner-Wisdom competition, Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat, who read from her beautiful winning essay, “Tango Face”:

Emilie was followed by Tad Bartlett, who read an excerpt from “Addressing You,” his short story that was a finalist in the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom competition:

J.Ed. Marston then read an excerpt from “The Truth Project,” a novel he collaboratively wrote with Tad, and that was on the short list for finalists in the novel category of the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom competition:

Next up was Sara Paul, who read an excerpt from her historical fiction about a young scientist moving into New Orleans to conduct some experiments at the turn of the last century:

Maurice Carlos Ruffin followed, reading an excerpt from his current novel project, from a narrator looking back on the former city of New Orleans:

Rounding out the afternoon’s reading was Janis Turk, who brought the “music” into the Words and Music Conference with her reading of a minute in the day of New Orleans:

Great readings by all, and Peauxdunque looks forward to the final four days of an excellent conference!