Carnegie writing competition winners announced

Newnan Carnegie Library and Jawbone Publishing have announced the winners of their first writing competition, “When Coweta Writes.”

The competition was open for two categories: teens (ages 13 to 19) and adults from age 20 and older. The contest was restricted to prose and fiction only, and limited to 1,000 words.

In the adult category, Laura Lynn Dunklin’s submission, “Small Rooms,” was the winning entry.

Dunklin is the daughter of a retired Army officer and married to the recently retired Colonel Douglas W. Dunklin. She was born in El Paso, Texas, and moved every two years or so until she arrived in her parents’ home state of Georgia in 1978. She graduated from Fayette County High School in 1980 and studied biology at North Georgia College in Dahlonega. 

When she left for college her dreams were to become a pediatrician and to write and illustrate children’s books. Many years later, she is the proud mother and home educator of two children, Samuel, who will finish high school next year, and Grace, who will be a senior at Berry College. She put medicine and writing on hold to tend to her family and teach science to other homeschoolers for the last 13 years. Although she has scribbled letters and notes to family and friends over those years, the Carnegie/Jawbone Publishing writing competition was her first foray into public writing since working on her college newsletter.

In the teen category, Rachel Hess’ entry, “Something Really Terrible,” achieved the highest score among the judges. 

Hess is 18 years old and graduated from Trinity Christian High School. She became interested in writing as a middle school student. She has since published articles for the local sports magazine Game Day, written an essay that placed second at the GISA Region Literary Competition, written a book chapter that placed third at the National Fine Arts Competition, and continues to work on multiple writing projects at home. It is her aspiration to one day publish her own book series.

Both “Something Really Terrible” and “Small Rooms” are published by Jawbone Publishing in an anthology of short stories by Coweta writers. The title of the publication is “Summer Shorts.”

Jawbone Publishing was established in 2001 and has published 250 titles. Publisher Swanee Ballman has been writing books for the past 20 years and has received numerous awards for her writing. To date, she has published five children’s picture books and eight adult novels. She has also completed three screenplays. She is a former board member for the Florida Publishers Association and a former regional director of the Florida Writers’ Association. In 2007, she relocated to Newnan where she enjoys encouraging writers to hone their skills. 

The competition was judged by Coweta County residents Dorothy McLean, Michael Scott and Randy Wendt. Each writer will receive a certificate of participation for their submission to the writing competition.

A book release party  for the anthology, “Summer Shorts,” will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Barnes & Noble, 342 Newnan Crossing Bypass, Newnan. The publication, “Summer Shorts,” may be purchased for $10. In addition to the book signing activities, various Coweta writers will conduct readings from their published work. The presentation of the awards from The Carnegie Library/Jawbone Publishing writing competition will be conducted. 




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