MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The U.P. Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA) has announced the winners of its first Dandelion Cottage Short Story Contest.
UPPAA, established in 1998 as an organization for anyone from or associated with Upper Michigan who is interested in writing and publishing, has continually sought to educate its members on all aspects of writing, publishing, and book marketing. Since its founding, the organization has grown to more than one hundred authors. Its members have produced a wide variety of books ranging from U.P. history and travel books to historical fiction, mysteries, romance, fantasy, science fiction, nature, recreation, children’s books, and poetry.
The idea to hold a short story contest for high school students was the brain child of Larry Buege, UPPAA’s current treasurer and the author of several books, including his popular young adult Chogan Native American series. Buege said he was inspired to create the contest to encourage young writers because he has a granddaughter in Wisconsin who published her first novel while in the sixth grade. “I was convinced that we may have similarly talented writers in the U.P.,” Buege said.
Buege approached the rest of the UPPAA board members, who embraced the idea of a contest that would encourage students to become interested in writing and to pursue their talents. Buege also found an anonymous donor to provide financial support. He chose to name the contest after the classic children’s book Dandelion Cottage (1904) by Carroll Watson Rankin, an author from Marquette who published several children’s novels. Once the contest was announced and entries began to come in, Buege was confirmed in believing the idea was a good one. “I was not disappointed,” he said. “The quality of the submissions was beyond my expectations.”
The submissions were judged by a group of UPPAA members, all authors themselves. Prizes for the contest were designated to be $250 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. However, this first year there was a tie for third place and the judges also decided to award an Honorable Mention. In addition to the cash prizes, the first place winner’s name will be engraved on a traveling trophy that will be displayed at the student’s school each year. First, second, and third place winners are also all given medallions with their names and award placement engraved on them. Finally, the first and second place winners’ stories will be published in the 2nd annual U.P. Reader, the new literary publication of UPPAA, which will be released at UPPAA’s annual meeting on June 2.
This year, the first place winner of the Dandelion Cottage Short Story Contest is Katie McEachern, a freshman from Negaunee. She won for her story “The Attack.” Second place is awarded to Emma Locknane, a junior from Gwinn, for her story “Welcome to the New Age.” Third place is awarded to both Anna Laakso, a sophomore from Republic/Michigamme, for her story “Elite” and Sarah Lauzon, a fifth grader from Ironwood for “Henry the Kitten.” Honorable Mention is awarded to Sierra Hendrickson, a freshman from Negaunee, for her story “Abducted.”
Treasurer Larry Buege and Vice President Gretchen Preston have been traveling to the schools to present the awards to the students. In addition, at the annual UPPAA conference, President Tyler Tichelaar will present the traveling trophy to the first place winner and her teacher.
UPPAA’s annual conference will be held this year at the Landmark Inn in Marquette from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To attend the conference, visit https://uppaa.org/meeting-registration/. A full schedule of the conference, including speakers and presentations, is included at the website. Deadline for registration is May 25. Writers of all ages are welcome.
The second annual Dandelion Cottage contest is now open for entries. Full submission guidelines can be found at http://www.dandelioncottage.org/. The deadline for the contest is January 31, 2019.