Big Muddy Fall 2011

Unbeknownst to each other, Kathleen Rowell (2010) and Thomas Linville (2010, 2011) both entered  the Mighty River Short Story Contest in 2010 ~ and won prizes. Peterson received First Prize for her story “Resolution,” and Linville  Second Prize for his story “Portland ”  This is almost like a Trifecta, isn’t it? Okay, a Bi-fecta.

The Mighty River Short Story Contest is held annually with a deadline in the fall, which, as Rowell points out below, is good timing for our conferees. Her story appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of “Big Muddy – A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley”, published by the South East Missouri University Press.

In response to my enquiry, Kathleen Rowell wrote:

“So nice to hear from you! I’m very grateful to the Napa Valley Writers Conference and specifically the members of Curtis Sittenfield’s workshop group for the help they gave me with this story. Their issues with  my story were remarkably consistent, which was a strong indication that I needed to take them seriously and I did…The workshop was invaluable to me in the rewrite process and made my story much stronger than it would have been otherwise. That said, I think I learned even more through the process of workshopping  other people’s stories. It is much easier to see the flaws in other people’s work than it is in my own and by making myself do it over and over in the course of the week I became a better editor of my own work.

       I found the contest in Poets and Writers magazine and submitted it more or less at random because its deadline was close to the time I was reading the magazine. I didn’t know that Thomas Linville submitted, but I’m glad he won recognition as well.  – Kathleen
      In response to my congratulatory email, Thomas Linville wrote that  his prize winning story  ” wasn’t a story I workshopped at Napa, but I can definitely say the experiences I’ve had there have made me a better writer. … I’ve had great experiences at Napa and will definitely be applying in the future.”
     Congratulations, Kathleen and Thomas! We wish you continued success in your writing and look forward to seeing you again one of these summers.