The Daisy Pettles’ Writing Competition for mature Women Writers (aged 40+) https://www.daisypettleswritingcontest.com has announced 8 finalists for the 2021 Women’s Writing House Residency and cash grant awards.
Applicants were surprisingly accomplished. Many had been writing for decades and had achieved accolades as notable as the Emmy and Murrow Awards, and Amazon best-seller commercial fiction status, but just as many had recently retired from lifelong careers unrelated to writing to begin work on long delayed passion projects.
2021 applicants included a mix of published and unpublished women writers working in genres ranging across humor, film, fantasy, romance, creative non-fiction, literary novels, non-fiction history and culture, memoirs, journalism, and commercial thrillers. The Daisy Pettles’ grant program, open to women writers regardless of citizenship, attracted applicants from nineteen states as well as residents of Italy, Scotland, UK, India, Pakistan, and Ireland.
Finalists 2021 Grant Cycle – Daisy Pettles House
Melanie Cox – Yakima, Washington
Drafting “Writing Dottie,” where an odd collection of people, including an aging nursing home resident with growing dementia, and a young grief-stricken schoolteacher, bond together to thwart a modern-day “Austenian” romance plot, granting each other’s previously hollow lives new purpose and meaning in the process
Nancy Fowler – St. Louis, Missouri
A lifelong reporter, working on a journalist memoir about not being a grandmother, entitled, “I Would Have Loved Her So Much”; literary journalism that pegs a sharply declining national birth rate to a poignant personal story of the meaning, value and burdens of mothering and parenting across generations in America
Laura Federico – Bloomfield, New Jersey
Working on a supernatural thriller/mystery novel, “And the Heart Gives Up Its Dead,” which chronicles the struggles of a disenfranchised woman who utilizes her unique psychic gifts to invoke a better life
Katherine Mezzacappa – Italy
An historical fiction writer originally from the UK, residing in Italy, at work on a commercial novel … “Annie of Ainsworth Mill,” the imaginary tale of a young flax dresser from Ireland navigating the social pressures of her time to establish love and livelihood
Gwendolyn Mintz – Las Cruces, New Mexico
Working on a debut Literary Novel, “Something Like Happiness,” which chronicles the story of a young woman set against the juvenile justice system and involuntary state sterilization
Dorothy Porco – Madison, Wisconsin
“Birdie’s Lament,” a debut novel that chronicles loss in two women’s intersecting lives; a generational spanning of how lessons from our ancestors (1800s to modern day) can inspire and guide
Elizabeth Ramsay – Boca Raton, Florida
Working on an ethnic ghost story collection, “Drinking the Chocolate,” modern renditions of ghost and horror stories from the folklores of Japan, Native American tribes, Jamaica, Spain, Ireland, and China, featuring young protagonists
Laurie Wax – Washington, DC
Working on a family drama novel, “Christmas in Mycenae,” that details the ideological struggles of a conservative father in Iowa as he attempts to understand his socially progressive adult children and their journeys
The majority of entrants for the 2021 awards had yet to be published by traditional presses, yet submitted works in progress that outshined some of their prize-winning peers. More than half of the entrants were employed in or retired from primary careers, including: administrative assistant, lawyer, social worker, therapist, teacher, librarian, nurse, journalist, tutor, software engineer, project manager, academic chair, professor, public relations director, medical tech, entrepreneur, and editor.
The final 3 prize winners—3 cash prizes are available along with the grand prize of a free, self-guided 1-month house residency—will be notified via email by January 21, with a follow-up blog post.
Women Writers: If you are in need of a quiet retreat for creative projects, a self-designed residency, or writing group get-togethers, the fully-furnished Daisy Pettles’ House for Women Writers is available for group or individual rental on a monthly basis at a reduced rate. Query Cindy on availability and occupancy rates for 2021.
LISTEN and Laugh along, to the FREE Daisy Pettles comedy podcast, the complete audiobook, “Ghost Busting Mystery,” Book 1 in the award-winning, humorous, cozy mystery series, The Shady Hoosier Detective Agency. > https://daisypettles.com/cozy-mystery-podcast/
DONATE to the Women’s Writing House > https://www.gofundme.com/f/daisy-pettles-women-writers-house