OCW Cascade Contest Honors Writing Excellence
by Julie McDonald Zander, Co-Chair of the Cascade Awards Program
Writers received recognition for excellent craftsmanship the evening of August 12 during the 2015 Cascade Writing Contest Awards ceremony at the Red Lion on the River in Portland. Hosts Susan May Warren and James Rubart welcomed finalists on the stage and then celebrated the winners by reading the opening line of each winning entry.
The multi-genre contest was launched in 2013 to encourage both published and emerging writers. This year we were blessed to receive 240 entries from throughout the United States (and two from Australia) in 22 categories. Even contestants who don’t make it to the final round have expressed gratitude to the judges for the encouraging feedback they’ve received.
Nothing compares to the thrill of winning, though.
“When I heard the first few words of my novel, I instantly doubled over, teary-eyed and shaking,” said Rebecca Cuadra George, whose entry called Twining Vines won in the Unpublished Contemporary category. “Thirteen years and counting on that manuscript, but now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. What a wonderful night.”
In addition to the writing awards, we presented two honorary awards.
The Trailblazer Award was given to author, teacher, and mentor Jill Williamson, the Christy and INSPY award-winning author of 13 books: the Blood of Kings and Safe Lands trilogies, the Mission League novels, Replication, and two books to help teenagers in their writing journey—Storyworld First and Go Teen Writers. She has taught at conferences throughout the nation
Lynn Hare, who received top awards in two categories of the Cascade Writing Contest, received the Writer of Promise Award. Lynn, who won in both the Published Articles and Published Poetry categories this year, has published more than 75 pieces, taught workshops on writing magazine articles, and devoted time, energy, and talent to serving on OCW’s prayer team.
We are grateful for the generous support of 130 preliminary judges and 40 finals judges who donated their time, talent, and experience to encourage the contestants. Our finals judges represent some of the top editors, agents, and authors in the Christian publishing industry. Many thanked us for the opportunity to participate and commented on the high quality of the writing.