Book Title: The Great Snail Race

Author’s Name: Don Jordan

Trailer Creator : Don Jordan

About the Author: Don Jordan is a clown, mime, musician, writer and director who has performed in Europe and the United States. In 2007 he founded Nutshell Playhouse, a company dedicated to creating and performing original theater and music for family audiences. He has written five plays for the company and has produced two CD’s of original children’s songs. He lives in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

About the Book: A children’s picture book about a feisty snail and his undersea friends.

Buy the book!


Winning Book Trailer – September 18

Author’s Name: Elizabeth Austin

Book Title: Compass RoseTrailer Creator : Radion Media

YouTube Video of trailer:

About the Author: Elizabeth Austin is a writer in Los Angeles and Compass Rose is her debut novel. Elizabeth has a master’s in international affairs from the American University of Paris, where she was awarded a travel grant and completed thesis field work in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. She also has a master’s in international relations from the University of St. Andrews, for which she completed dissertation field work in Cambodia. Elizabeth has contributed to International Policy Digest, Global Politics Magazine, e-IR, and Downtown Weekly LA.

About the Book: Compass Rose takes the reader 40 years in the future to a divided United States. Income inequality has become extreme and class differences have escalated. Civil war erupts. In the initial chaos, a college student in her early twenties, Emily Caring, suddenly must flee her home. The novel follows her courageous struggle to reach a refugee camp and reunite with her family. Later she develops a love interest, Ben, who discovers corruption at the heart of the new government. As they begin to fight for justice, Emily learns some difficult truths about herself, her family, and what it means to be a leader in this new world order.

Amazon Link to buy the book


These were the judges.

Hope Clark: Hope is a traditionally published author (Bell Bridge Books) from South Carolina. She is also the author and publisher of Funds for Writers, an online newsletter. Hope is also the sponsor for this writing competition, committing $50 toward the winning prize of $150.

Steve Rose: First and foremost, Steve was one of my high school English teachers. That was a long time ago. Now, he is a writer, and Professor Emeritus of Simpson College.

Carol Wuenschell, PhD: Carol is a published author, and Freelance editor for scientific and medical texts. I met her as a follower of my website and blog. She’s authored the fine book, Gift of Chance. Carol lives in California.

Emily Barlean: Yes… my daughter. She’s an avid reader and began her career working for Concordia Publishing House. She has a Master’s degree in Communications Management and is the Marketing Development Director for a financial institution in St Louis, Missouri.

Gina Barlean: I have the least clout, but this is my contest, so I’ve weighed in, too. I’m an author and avid reader and have participated in many critique groups over the last eight years. I’ve published eleven books, all available on

The judges were asked to select first, second, and third choices for their favorite stories. I was impressed with how different their choices were and had varied opinions and likes, probably stemming from the different ages and parts of the country the judges were from.

I used a point system: 1 point if the judge selected the story as their 3rd choice, 2 points if the judge selected the story as their 2nd choice, and 3 points if the judge selected the story as their 1st choice. The winner received the most points. We had two stories which both received 5 points, tying for 3rd. Only the winning story won the prize and is published here.

The contestants:

Barbara Salvatore:

Big Horse Woman– haunting historical fiction about a Ponca woman born in 1833- was Finalist in the 2009 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest and First Place, Prairie/First Nations category, Chanticleer’s 2017 Laramie Prize for Western Fiction. Big Horse Woman was the catalyst for Barbara‘s move 1300 miles from rural upstate New York, to Nebraska. Magghie, second book in the series, was also a finalist for the 2017 Laramie Prize for Western Fiction.
Barbara earned her BFA at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. Her art has been exhibited in NY and Nebraska and, along with her writing, been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Barbara is also a student and teacher of the Ponca language, Plant Medicine and Horse Care.

Teagan Dinslage:

Teagan writes short stories and poems from her prairie home in rural Nebraska, where she is mainly inspired by conversations and collaborations. Forever fascinated by the complexities of human beings, she puts into her pieces a little of what she knows and a little of what she imagines.

Kathryn Gillmore:

“Air Force dependent, curious teenager, wife, mother, grandmother, Great-Grandmother, electric assembler, security guard, waitress, receptionist, scout leader, accounting, and company historian are but a few of the port-of-calls that have made up my life. The people, the places and the experiences are a part of me, which makes them a part of my writing. If at first, you don’t succeed, use it in one of your stories.”
Kathryn, a Nebraska author, writes Sweet Romantic Paranormal Fantasy with a Midwest twist. The characters are much like the people you know or wish you did. From sweet romance for adults to Young Adult Fantasy Adventures there’s something for everyone. Nebraska to Alaska, and anywhere else Kathryn’s imagination is off to, you’ll enjoy the ride.
Kathryn does guest appearances and speaks on various subjects concerning writing.

Dennis Seberger:

Dennis Seberger grew up on a farm in Nebraska. After high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps as a machine-gunner. He later attended the United States Naval Academy, and then flew helicopters for the Marine Corps until 2012, when he returned to Nebraska. He taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney while he earned his MA in English Literature, and now he teaches high school English.

Chris Mager Wevik:

Christine Mager Wevik is the author of “It’s Only Hair,” a humorous self-help book about living and coping with baldness. She is married to Doug, the other Clint Eastwood, lives on a farm in southeast South Dakota, and has 4 children and 2 (almost 3) grandchildren. She spends her time eating, gardening, writing, and perfecting the art of procrastination.

Charlotte Volnek:

C.K. Volnek has been writing for several years and finally getting serious about getting published again after a five year hiatus. She loves writing all kinds of stories from young adult to paranormal to love stories. There’s always something to tickle her muse.

Mari Hill:

Fiction writer of two ebook novels, two poetry anthologies, eight horror short stories for Weird Darkness a weekly Youtube presentation. I love to write fiction, paranormal, horror and thrillers. I recently completed a short fiction romance, my first. Writing short stories have become my passion, its’ a wonderful way to tell my story for a quick read.

NOW…. read the short story by Barbara Salvatore, Dottie’s Story: Apron String. This is a very moving piece. It gives me chills every time I read it. Click here: WINNING ENTRY