Maryland Writers' Association
PO Box 41671
Baltimore, MD 21203

Congratulations to the winners of the Maryland Writers' Association 2010 Short Works Contest!

Short Fiction:

Judge: Ann Hood

Ann Hood is the author of ten books, including An Ornithologist's Guide To LifeThe Knitting CircleComfort, and The Red Thread. Her work has appeared in The Paris ReviewTin HouseO, The Oprah Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

First Place: No prize was awarded in this category.

Second Place: "Solomon's Puzzle" by Loris C. Nebbia

Between writing projects, Loris Nebbia teaches Literature and Composition to high school students in the Annapolis area, where she makes her home. Loris and her husband enjoy having four grown children and four grandchildren. Her short fiction has been published in weekly women's magazines by D. C. Thompson and Co. in Great Britian. Greenwood Press included her entry on The Great Awakening in their Dictionary of Women's Education. As well, her work has appeared in many national and local publications. Her writing is featured on the blogs: and

Third Place: "Alignment" by Raoul L. Wientzen, Jr.

Raoul Wientzen is a medical doctor who specializes in pediatric infections diseases. He taught on the faculty of Georgetown University Hospital for thirty-two years. Currently, he is the Medical Director of the Rostropovich Foundation, which conducts large-scale health programs for children internationally. He writes fiction and poetry. He has attended writing seminars at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD, and is a member of the Northern Virginia Writer's Group.

Creative Nonfiction:

Judge: Lynn Stearns

Lynn Stearns enjoys leading Memoir and Story Construction workshops at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, and serving as an associate fiction editor for the Potomac Review. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including Gravity DancersIn Good CompanyNew Lines From The Old Line State, and Not What I Expected: The Unpredictable Road from Womanhood to Motherhood.

First Place: "The Banyan Tree" by Lalita Noronha

Born in India, Lalita Noronha came to the U. S. on a Fulbright travel grant and has a Ph. D. in microbiology. her literary work has appeared in over fifty journals, magazines, and anthologies, including The Baltimore Sun , The Christian Science MonitorCatholic DigestCrab Orchard ReviewThe Pedestal MagazinePassager, and Gargoyle. Recent anthologies include Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves, A Contemporary Anthology of Asian American Women's Poetry (Deep Bowl Press),Serenity Prayers, Poems, and Prose (Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC), New Lines From the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers (MWA), and Get Well Wishes (Harper Collins). She has twice won the Maryland Literary Short Story Award, Maryland Individual Artist Award for fiction,, and the Dorothy Daniels National League of American Pen Women award, among others. Where Monsoons Cry is her debut collection of short stories (BlackWords Press). Currently working on a novel, she is a fiction editor for the Baltimore Review, and a science teacher at St. Paul's School for Girls, Baltimore, MD. Her website is

Second Place: "Weird Food Poker" by Iain S. Baird

Iain S. Baird is a winner of the University of South Alabama's 2005 Award for Best Novel for his suspense book Panacea. He also won the 2006 William March Award for Best Short Story and was a 2007 Finalist for the William Wisdom Award for Best Short Story from the William Faulkner Festival. He won the 2009 award for best short story from the Tallahassee Writers' Association. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Seven Hills Review, CHA: An Asian Literary Journal, The Timber Creek Review, Oracle, Louisiana: In Words, The Briar Cliff Review, and The Berkshire Review. He was nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Award.

Third Place: "Under Fire" by Jan Sherbin

Jan Sherbin likes to illuninate the cluture of the former Soviet Union for Americans and vice versa. She works with people from the ex-USSR who come to the United States for educational programs and serves as a columnist for a newspaper in Ukraine, providing insights into American life. "Under Fire" is part of a larger work-in-progress.

Honorable Mention: "A Week with a Distant Cousin" by Karen Cain

Karen Cain has been a serious writer for five years and is currently completing a 75,000 word memoir. She is a member of the Maryland Writers' Association, Greenbelt Writers' Group, and Arundel Writers' Group. She has been taking creative writing courses for five years and has attended the Algonkian Writers' Conference in November 2008. She graduated form the University of Maryland University in 1996.


Judges: Virginia Crawford and Sam Schmidt

Virginia Crawford lives in Baltimore where she teaches poetry through the Maryland State Arts Council's Poets in the Schools program. She has also taught poetry and writing at the university level. She enjoys reading her work throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including at the Baltimore Book Festival and the Chincoteague Writer's Conference. Virginia is a graduate of Emerson College and received her M. Litt. from the University of St. Andrews. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Weavings 2000, September Eleven Maryland Voices, Thy Mother's Glass, Maryland Poetry Review, Potomac: a journal of Politics and Poetry, Baltimore Review, and many others. She is co-editor of Poetry Baltimore: Poems About a City. She and her husband, Sam Schmidt, recently appeared as panel members at Baltimore's annual City Lit Festival for a discussion entitled "Married: With Writer."

Founder and Editor of WordHouse, Baltimore's newsletter for writers (1993 to 2004) and coeditor of the anthology Poetry Baltimore: Poems About a City, Sam Schmidt has been published in a number of literary journals including the Maryland Poetry Review, Black Moon, Dancing Shadow Review, Potomac Review, Gargoyle, andPoets Against War (which nominated his poem "American Guitar" for the Pushcart prize). His work has been anthologized in Weavings 2000, Maryland's millennium anthology edited by Michael Glaser, and his manuscript, An Apple in Her Pocket, was a finalist in the Apprentice House chapbook competition. Currently, he is working on a novel in verse. He and his wife Virginia Crawford, also a writer, recently participated in the panel discussion "Married: With Writer" at Baltimore's annual CityLit Festival.

This is the first year that all three prizes have been won by a single poet.

First Place: "Promise" by Shirley Brewer

Second Place: "Toreador" by Shirley Brewer

Third Place: "Lament" by Shirley Brewer

Shirley J. Brewer (Baltimore, MD) is a free-lance writer, workshop facilitator, and entrepreneur. After a thirty-year career as a speech therapist, Shirley pursued her Creative Muse at the University of Baltimore, where she earned her Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing/Publishing Arts in 2005. She has worked as an adjunct professor, teaching writing to undergraduates at UB. She is currently pursuing two ventures: Poetic License -- Shirley writes poems for special occasions, and Portraits in Words -- in partnership with photographer Karen Guay, Shirley combines fine art photos with personalized poems in a dual frame. Shirley received an Honorable Mention in Passager's Poetry Contest in 2005 and 2009, and First Prize for poetry in 2004 in the Maryland Writers' Association's annual Short Works Contest. Shirley was nominated for a Pushcast Prize in 2009. Publication credits include: Pearl, Comstock Review, HazMat Review, Edison Literary Review, Free Lunch, Manorborn, Calyx, Passager, and other journals. Her first poetry collection, A Little Breast Music, was published in 2008 by Passager Books (Baltimore). Continuing her winning streak, Shirley just won Third Prize in a national poetry contest sponsored by the shady side review in Pittsburgh. Shirley is a firm believer in plorking*, and she accessorizes freely. Her website is

* Play + Work = Plork

2010 MWA Short Works Contest