CNY Branch of the NLAPW

CNY Branch Letters Members Take Lion's Share of NLAPW Biennial Awards


Central New York Branch Pen Women took the lion's share of the NLAPW 2020 Biennial Awards in Letters with seven members winning over one-third of all Biennial Letters awards this year. Six independent judges blind-read submissions from Pen Women around the country.

Karen Hempson won first place in the well-contested Memoir category with "Immigrant Healer."

First place n the Norman C. and Marjorie J. Roller category went to Janine DeBaise for her essay "Nylon and Mesh." DeBaise also won first place in the Delta Branch Grace K. Wofford Essay category of the competiton for her essay "Ghost Story."

Mary L. Gardner placed second in the intensely competitive Memoir category with "Second Looks." She also garnered a second place in the Della Crowder Miller category for her sonnet "Autumn, A Leaf." Sheila M. Byrnes earned second place honors in the Norman C. and Marjorie J. Roller category with her essay "If You Listen, You Can Hear the Night Turning Over." Janet Fagal earned second place for her poem "Everything that Matters" in the Anita Marie Boggs Poetry category. Janine DeBaise also won second place in the Marion Doyle Poetry category for her poem "Ancient Rhythm" and for her essay "Cure for Pain" in the Marjorie Davies Roller Nonfiction category.

Judith McGinn won third place in the CNY Branch-sponsored Flannery O'Connor short story category. Rachael Ikins won third place for her children's book A Piglet for David in the Sandra Seaton Michel story category. Janet Fagal won third place for her poetic prose "Together, 1955" in the Norman C. and Marjorie J. Roller Award category. Mary Gardner also won a third place award in the Marion Doyle Poetry category for her poem "Making the Most of Time" in this year's NLAPW Biennial competition.

Competition judges shared comments about the winning titles that spoke to the sophistication, writing skills, and powerful voices of the CNY Branch winning writers. Judges included SUNY Distinguished Professor emeritus Mary Lynch Kennedy, Ph.D. and Distinguished Professor Karla Alwes, Ph,D.; Tompkins Cortland Community College Professors Aaron Decker and John Troyer, as well as professor emerius Susan Ceretani.

Congratulations to the CNY Pen Women on their awards and tremendous writing achievements. All winning writers will be honored and receive their prizes at the 2020 Biennial at The Darcy hotel in Washington, D.C. on the weekend of April 24-26, 2020. Sheila M. Byrnes is the Chair of the 2020 Biennial, and Nancy Dafoe serves as the NLAPW Letters Chair.

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