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LVW is pleased to announce the winning stories and authors:

First Prize: “The Princess and the Jack O’Lantern” by Don Ellenberger of Stahlstown, PA. Don says, “My wife and I are blessed with two grown princesses and a prince. This is my first story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!”

Second Prize: “Rise of the Turnips” by Cricket Jean Baunoch of Indiana, PA. Cricket has been writing creatively for years. She is featured in the Appelley Publishing 2020 Rising Stars Collection and won second place in the Ligonier Valley Writers Student Poetry Awards (traditional verse). Cricket loves creating art. Her work is featured in public displays (murals, tapestries) throughout Indiana County. She’s a tenth-grader at Indiana High School.

Third Prize: “The Mage’s Light” by Lord My’k Podgor of Cleveland, Ohio. Lord Myk spends most of his time writing, drawing, and attempting various other projects. You can find some of these at 

Three Honorable Mentions:

“Undisturbed” by Barbara Parker of Radford, VA. Barbara is an educator and writer. Her books Crossties by Barbara Purbaugh and Ms. P’s Guide to Going to Hell by Babs Parker are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

“Night Watch” by Dana Weber of Ligonier, PA. The author of the novels The Tallest Timbers and A Hat for Two Heads, Dana weaves decades of East Coast, Deep South, and international travel into playful storytelling tinged with the mystical ways of the universe.  Weekly Book Recommendations on Facebook (Dana Thomas Weber) 

“Carving Day by Nicole Bradley of Ligonier, PA. Nicole enjoys her family, gardening, and spending time in the forest. This is her first attempt at flash fiction. 

Congratulations to all six of these talented authors!

All six of the winning authors received a complimentary one-year membership in Ligonier Valley Writers, a professional edit of their stories, publication at the LVW website, and a chance to perform their winning story aloud. The first, second, and third place winners also received cash prizes.

Our thanks to our celebrity judge, Damian Dressick, as well as our first-round judges, April Serock, Ron Shafer, and Judith Gallagher.

The six winning stories were performed on Saturday, October 28, at 1942 Tacos & Tequila restaurant in Ligonier. After the readings, Jim Hardin gave a brief talk about what flash fiction is and how to write it. Then he read his flash fiction piece “Want Gold,” which was published by Daily Science Fiction last year. To read “Want Gold,” go to ​Jim’s science fiction novel Softlife is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online stores. For more info, visit


Up Next for Ligonier Valley Writers

Sunday, December 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Annual LVW Christmas Party. St. Michael’s Church, Rector. We’ll have a delicious potluck meal and socializing, followed by readings by any attendees who volunteer. Some people read from their own work; others choose to read holiday passages from their favorite authors.

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