WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Oct. 29, 2020 — Main Street Wooster has launched a contest to find the best short stories that take place in Downtown Wooster. First place will be awarded $300, second receives $150, and third gets $50. The winning piece will be published in the Daily Record and get an audio version produced by WQKT. The top ten stories will be published in a paperback anthology sponsored by MCTV.
“We wanted to give people a reason to come to Downtown Wooster and be inspired,” said Main Street Wooster’s Executive Director, Shannon Waller. “Whether you want to write a fictional story about the human skeleton that was discovered at the old Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge, or tell the true tale of your first date at a local restaurant that led to marriage, you’ll have the perfect excuse to explore downtown.”
To qualify, stories must be less than 5000 words, take place in Downtown Wooster for at least half of the story, and have some factual basis (examples include historical fiction, realistic fiction, and creative non-fiction). The deadline for submission is February 8, 2021.
Ben Stock, owner of Books in Stock – Used and Rare Books, will be one of the judges. “I’m looking forward to enjoying the stories of Downtown Wooster our talented citizens produce!” he said. “If you need inspiration or background, come in and check out our local history selections. (Hint: someone needs to fictionalize Edward E. Palmer!!)”
“The people of Wooster are so creative, it is great to have this project encouraging people to write and share their stories,” said another judge, Julia Wiesenberg, who is the Executive Director of the Buckeye Book Fair. “I’m looking forward to reading the entries and seeing all the unique perspectives of Wooster!"
According to the Wayne County Public Library’s Executive Director, Jennifer Shatzer, “We have many resources available to help you on your creative writing journey, including various "how-to" manuals for writing as well as online resources such as Lynda.com, where you can take free online courses in creative writing. If you're looking for inspiration, the library also has many local history resources. Our staff is ready to help. Call us and we will be happy to guide you to the information you need.”
While the Wayne County Historical Society remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's Public Relations & Marketing Chair, John L. Hopkins, says that you can find plenty of inspiration and information about local history on their website (waynehistoricalohio.org). “Another great source is the Wayne County Public Library's online resource center (https://wiki.wcpl.info/w/Category:Department_resources)." The Society’s Documents & Archives Committee Volunteer, Susan Zimmerman, says that many local newspapers printed before 1924 are available online for free and text searchable at http://wcpl.advantage-preservation.com/.
The Kelly Brunn Passion Fund is donating the prize money for the top three stories. Greg Brunn, Trustee of the Fund, says, “Kelly was dedicated to many causes that she pursued with the kind of open heart that many of us only wish we could have. When she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 29, 2017, I, along with our kids, Samantha and Matthew, wanted to keep Kelly's memory alive through support for her passions in the community.” Creative writing and storytelling were some of her passions.
“You do not need to reside in Wooster to enter,” said Waller. “We’d love to have out-of-town authors research and write about our downtown.”
For more details on the contest, including how to submit your story, please visit www.MainStreetWooster.org or call 330-262-6222.
Posted by By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.