Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cowboy Up Contest Winners Announced

At long last, Moonlight Mesa Western Book Publisher Becky Coffield yesterday announced the cash prize winners and the runnersup for this year's Annual Cowboy Up Short Story Contest.

1st Place and $250 is Laura M. Gibson of Longview, Wa. for "The Water Men."
2nd Place and $150 is Robert Walton for "The Wreck of the Annabelle Lee."
3rd Place and $75 is Murray Edwards of Clyde, Texas for "Her Final Order."

Runners up:
Bill Starr of Yuma, AZ for "Holy Night"
Bill Wilbur of West Covina, CA for "Faith"
Drew Davis of Martinez, GA for "Tragedy Falls"
Gerald M. Jarvis of Mechanicsville, VA for "Runnin' Blue".

This year the runnersup will also receive a book of their choice published by Moonlight Mesa Associates.

According to the publisher, "These stories were all just so excellent. Every single story listed here really deserved a first place cash prize! I wish we had the $$ to make that happen. There was only a 1 point difference in the top three stories."

In addtion, Coffield said there were some stories that were superb but didn't really fit the criteria of being a suspense or mystery. "We had stories that were worthy of being published in professional magazines, like the New Yorker, or The Atlantic Monthly. Very literary type stories."

Next year's contest will be announced in a few weeks. "We need to decide if we want to place restrictions or criteria for the story like we did this year, or just let people write what they want. I've also considered doing a short-short story contest which would be a story of less than 1200 to 1500 words. That could be fun, and those are very challenging! We've also talked about doing a "novella" contest and then publishing the top three novellas. So many choices!" Coffield said.


J.R. Sanders' award-winning historical Western book, The Littlest Wrangler, was recently chosen by the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma to be included in their "Traveling Trunks" program. This is perhaps the most prestigous Western museum in the country, according to publisher Becky Coffield. For them to select Sanders' title for their learning program is truly something to be proud of.


MidWest Book Review's Senior Reviewer Shirley Johnson recently sent her sterling review of Moonlight Mesa's forthcoming young reader, Sam's Desert Adventure. "We were positively thrilled with Ms. Johnson's review," Coffield said. "Young reader publications are new to us. We've only done one other, so we are still figuring out how to best produce and market these books. Johnson praised everything about the book, which pleased us to no end," Coffield said.

A blurb from Johnson's review:

"Author Jonah Arizona has done a great job bringing the characters in this delightful read to life. The mischievous, trouble-prone Sam is endearing right from the start. Sam finds out that nothing comes without a price as he learns responsibility in so many areas, and adventure in so many others.

"I especially liked the family atmosphere where rules for the children were enforced with love. I also liked how the author developed a friendship for Sam with a grandfatherly figure, showing children they can enjoy a camaraderie with those older and learn from them.

"All in all, this book is a winner! It has warmth, a great story line, wonderful characters, and a top-notch ending. I highly recommend it."
Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer
MidWest Book Review

Look for Sam's Desert Adventure by Jonah Arizona in early 2012. Retail: 9.95.

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