Writer’s Digest has been shining a spotlight on up and coming writers in all genres through its Annual Writing Competition for more than 80 years. Although I’ve never won, I have been blessed with five Honorable Mentions in the Magazine Feature Article Catagory. It’s not quite as good as winning, but it still feels good to get validatation for doing something I love.
73rd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (2004)
Awarded 3 Honorable Mentions out of 18,000 entries.
Collecting Paperweights: The Tradition Continues (published as Weighty Subjects in art glass by AntiqueWeek September 15, 2003)
This was my first true venture into researching about something of which I knew absolutely nothing about. Not only did I enjoy every minute of it, I have continued to follow contemporary glass artists like Paul Stankard and Debbie Tarsatano.
I also love trivia, so it was great fun to discover that paperweights (all the rage in the mid -19th century) were also the origin of the snow globe. Reports from the United States Commissioners at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition describe “Paperweights of hollow balls, filled with water, containing a man with an umbrella. These balls also contained a white powder, which, when the paperweight was turned upside down, falls in imitation of a snowstorm.” When the EiffelTower opened in 1889, one enterprising glassmaker at the Paris Universal Exposition displayed a paperweight with a model of the EiffelTower encased in a water and snow-filled globe. He called his creation a souvenir.
Collecting American Clocks: No Bodgers Allowed (published as Acquiring quality timepieces by AntiqueWeek November 10, 2003)
Readers of The Hanged Man’s Noose will note the reference to the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors. Founded in 1943, The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. (NAWCC) is a nonprofit scientific organization that serves as a unique educational, cultural, and social resource for its membership and the public at large. Members include hobbyists, students, educators, casual collectors, and professionals in related retail and manufacturing trades. The one common bond (and main membership requirement) is a fascination with the art and science of timekeeping (horology). Naturally, the Glass Dolphin’s Arabella Carpenter is a member!
Read Collecting Paperweights and/or Clocks Antique Week
Dag Days (Antique Trader, January 7, 2004)
Digital photography may have changed our modern version of picture-taking, but when French commercial artist Louis Daguerre offered his invention, the daguerreotype, to the world, it was truly revolutionary. In 1840’s and 50’s America, the daguerreotype had little competition, especially in the area of private portraiture. By 1850, there were over 10,000 daguerreotypists in the United States. In 1853, The New York Daily Tribune estimated that three million daguerreotypes were being made annually.
In researching this article, I loved discovering daguerreotypes, but most of all I loved knowing that even back then people considered dogs “family.” As a dog lover, this remains one of my favorite features to this day, and started my interest in early photography. Read Dag Days
74th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (2005)
Awarded Honorable Mention out of 18,000 entries.
Energy-Wise Lighting (Bradford Living, June 2005)
For a very brief time, I wrote a column for Bradford Living called Energy Wise Living. Neither the column or the newspaper lasted very long. Undaunted, I pitched the idea of energy-wise lighting (still considered cutting edge in 2005) to The Healthy Home, another short-lived venture. All was not lost, however, since the feature won an Honorable Mention in the 74th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Furthermore, I ended up writing about energy-efficient lighting for several different publications, each one with a slightly different slant. But the very best part was when I pitched the idea of the fine art of respinning to The Writer Magazine. The article was published in May 2007, with four freelancers (myself including) weighing in. Read The Fine Art of Respinning
80th Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition (2011)
I’m not entirely sure why, but after 2005, I stopped entering the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Then, in December 2010, I wrote a feature for New England Antiques Journal called “A Nose for Value.” This feature was just so much fun to write, and so I tossed my hat back into the ring for the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing competition. Once again, I received an Honorable Mention. Read A Nose for Value.
Will I continue to enter the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know, however, is that I’ll keep on writing, because, well, that’s what I do.