Clean and compelling is the way celebrity judge and acclaimed author Steve Ulfelder describes the Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation’s 2016 writing contest winners. Ulfelder is the author of the Conway Sax mysteries and his four books have won several awards, including the prestigious Edgar and Anthony Awards. Monday the announced the winners of the thirteenth annual KDMF writing contest.
“What an honor it’s been to help judge this year’s KDMF Writing Contest! In an age saturated by video and marked by short attention spans, writing well is more challenging than ever—requiring, as it does, long and solitary hours of practice. It’s heartening to see young people taking the time to master their craft,” states Author Steve Ulfelder.
We have continued to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of students with the involvement of award-winning authors such as this year’s celebrity judge, Steve Ulfelder. Our contest winners, along with all entrants statewide, did a wonderful job on the topic “Ultimate Assist”, depicting situations in which helping a friend or family member to make good choices influenced behavior and decision-making.
This year’s one hundred dollar prize for honorable mention goes to 17 year old Stephanie Ortiz, a senior at Classical High School, for her work entitled “A Change of Key”. Ulfelder states “This is a mature, haunting story from a writer with limitless potential. I love the humor (“Oliver Heartly half-heartedly slammed …”) mixed with poignancy (“the Oliver with white wings and the holy halo had not been tainted …”). Title and setting also play important, perfectly observed roles; this is very advanced storytelling.”
Ulfelder awards the three hundred and fifty dollar third place prize to 17 year old Emily McNeiece, of Narragansett High School, for her short story entitled “Abstract”. “This short story is marked by gorgeous descriptive writing and a fascinating discussion about art, the artist, and life. We’re immediately curious about the main character, Lydia. What happened to make her so blue? I love the way she sets out to paint the sunrise each morning—full of hope initially, then growing despondent as she realizes her reach exceeds her grasp,” states Ulfelder.
16 year old Melissa Perry, of Portsmouth High School, wins this year’s second place five hundred dollar prize for her work entitled “The Ultimate Assist Goes Like This”. Ulfelder says this about Melissa’s submission: “Lyrical writing, a keen eye for detail, a harrowing story … and hope. This was wonderful, compact and intense. Ms. Perry shows respect for her readers by allowing the story to unfold at its own pace. We immediately care about her three-dimensional characters, and we root for a positive outcome.”
This year 17 year old Amelia Castelli, of Scituate High School, clinches the KDMF top prize of one thousand dollars for her work entitled “The Ultimate Assist”. “What a big-hearted essay! Ms. Castelli writes with love, humor and generosity about her brother and the Ultimate Assist he received at Bishop Hendricken High School. I love the perfectly placed details, such as Michael’s outfit on his first day. You come away filled with admiration for Michael, his school, his soccer team—and his sister.” writes Ulfelder.
The KDMF and AAA Northeast presented monetary awards to the three top winners and the student receiving Honorable Mention. Additionally, professionally created posters with the winners’ names and writing entries will remain on display at the mall during the week following the ceremony.
For more information about the contest and annual scholarships that the KDMF awards visit the Foundation’s website at www.kdmf.org. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.