Monday, February 23, 2009

Press release:

Dawn Raymond of Epping, NH Wins Sixth Annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest

Dawn Raymond is the winner of the sixth annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Tom Howard Books. This contest awarded $5,350 in cash prizes, including a top prize of $2,000, for the best original poems in any style or theme. Raymond's poem "Ghosts", which recounts a girl's retreat into grief and fantasy after her father's death, was judged the best of hundreds of entries from around the world. The top 15 winners and runners-up are published at

Northampton, MA (PRWEB) February 15, 2009 -- Tom Howard Books is pleased to announce the results from its sixth annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest. Dawn Raymond of Epping, New Hampshire won first prize and $2,000 for her poem "Ghosts". Hundreds of entries were received from around the world.

Raymond's raw, heartfelt poem takes readers inside the psyche of a girl haunted by her father's death from cancer. Retreating from the trivial concerns and crude taunts of her schoolmates, the bereaved child takes refuge in the memories that arise from her father's lovingly handled possessions. Meanwhile, darker forces pursue her into her adult life--depression, family conflict, loneliness--personified by the bewildered child as ghosts more frightening than any poltergeist from a late-night horror movie. Contest judge John H. Reid said, "Dawn Raymond has succeeded in the almost impossible. A frank, totally candid, personalized mood poem in which the writer dissects her own soul... Raymond's grip on the reader is so intense, it's impossible to be objective and move away."

Second prize of $1,000 went to Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. of Shreveport, Louisiana for "The Old Salty Poems", a charming narrative of an old sailor who passes down a wealth of stories--and perhaps more--to the little girl who befriended him. Reid said, "It has often been suggested that poetry would still be as popular and best-selling with the masses today, if mainstream verse had continued in the character/narrative vein. Certainly such a delightful, vastly entertaining throwback as 'The Old Salty Poems' lends a great deal of credence to this idea."

Joseph Gorman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania won third prize and $500 for "Anxiety Disorder", an incisive poem in which the temptations of pettiness, greed and insecurity threaten to divide a loving couple. Reid called it "an unusual yet spell-binding mood piece".

Wolstan Brown of Bayside, New York won fourth prize and $250 for "Do Not Be Kind to Robots That Love Humans", a dark fantasy from the point of view of robot servants who have superseded their masters. Reid said, "While there are tens of thousands of short stories on this subject, there is very little poetry. Wolstan Brown has wittily and intriguingly remedied this deficiency in his adroitly crafted piece."

Five High Distinction awards of $200 each went to Gilleland, Victoria Gouldthorp, Joanne Lau, Meryl Raw and Tamar Diana Wilson. Six Highly Commended awards of $100 went to Helen Bar-Lev, Tom Berman, Louis GirĂ³n, Phyllis Jean Green, Dixon Hearne and Martin Steele. The winning entries are published online at (

About Tom Howard Books and John H. Reid:

The Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest accepts original poems of any length, style or theme. Both published and unpublished works are accepted. The current contest opened on December 15, 2008 and will be accepting entries through the postmark deadline of September 30, 2009. The prize pool is $5,350, with a top prize of $2,000. Entries are accepted online and by mail. For guidelines, please see (

Contest sponsor and final judge John H. Reid is a former journalist and magazine editor who has published several novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests and fifteen books of film criticism and movie history. He lives in Wyong, Australia. Mr. Reid is assisted in the judging by Dee C. Konrad. A leading educator and published author, Ms. Konrad was Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University, and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the year 2000-2001.

About Winning Writers, Inc.:

Winning Writers assists with entry handling and publicity for the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest and other literary contests sponsored by Tom Howard Books. Winning Writers is today's leading source for timely and comprehensive literary contest information. Our online database, Poetry Contest Insider, includes complete guidelines and rankings for over 750 poetry contests, plus over 300 of the top fiction and essay contests. Our free email newsletter, with over 25,000 subscribers, offers news about quality free contests and literary resources.

Winning Writers was named one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" by Writer's Digest in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. It was founded in 2001 by the husband-and-wife team of Jendi Reiter and Adam Cohen. Learn more at

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