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Burlington Author Wins Vermont Writers' Prize

10 March 2016

COLCHESTER, Vt – Nancy Kilgore is the winner of the 2016 Vermont Writers’ Prize.  Her story “A Thousand Half Loves,” is of a small town in Vermont, but at the center is the love story between the primary characters, Mona and Frank.  The Vermont Writers’ prize is awarded by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine.
 
“A Thousand Half Loves” captures the quaintness and intimacy of living in a small town in Vermont—through the eyes and heart of Mona, beginning with an image of a bulletin board outside Mona’s country store, cluttered with papers and yellowed with age, that resonated with the panel of judges as “very Vermont”:
 
“Mona Duval stands in front of the outside bulletin board, a storm center of papers and notes and photos, in pinks and blues and whites that are yellowed with age. The wind blows, cutting up from the river and scarpering down to the parking lot, and the sun plays tag with the clouds. A day of sharpness and light, shadows and angles. People come to Vermont in droves for the fall colors, but she likes it best in the spring.”
 
Ms. Kilgore, a writer and psychotherapist who leads workshops and retreats on creative writing and spirituality, said, “This is something I love about rural Vermont – that we can talk about gutter cleaning and snow shoveling and recycling and in the next moment share something deep and life defining. In my writing I like to describe the ways ordinary life can shine with moments of profound meaning.”
 
Phil Jordan, editor of Vermont Magazine, commented on how “smooth and nicely flowing” the story reads, adding that, moving beyond that bulletin board “her story is about change taking place in Vermont––not on the hilltops or in the valleys, but in someone’s life in a rural place.”
 
Kilgore lives and writes in Burlington. “A Thousand Half Loves” is an adaptation of a chapter in her yet to be published novel, “Wild Mountain.”  She will receive a $1,500 prize for the short story.
 
The Prize was created to honor the literary legacy of the late Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and long-time member of Green Mountain Power's Board of Directors. It is considered by Vermont writers to be one of the state’s premier literary prizes. Previous winners include amateurs as well as seasoned writers.
 
The selection was made by an independent panel of judges: Phil Jordan, editor of Vermont Magazine; Tony Marro, retired executive editor of Newsday; Alison Freeland, a 1994 winner of the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., award; Brian Vachon, retired vice president of communications at National Life of Vermont and a former Vermont Life editor; Suzanne Loring, a writer at The Stern Center for Language and Learning and committee member of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award; and Steve Terry, retired Green Mountain Power senior executive. 
 
“A Thousand Half Loves” is published in the March/April issue of Vermont Magazine, which is on newsstands now.
 
The deadline for this year's Vermont Writers’ Prize is November 1, 2016. The contest is open to all Vermont residents. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. Submissions may include essays, short stories and poetry that focus on "Vermont--Its People, the Place, Its History or Its Values." Entries must be unpublished and less than 1,500 words long. Individuals may submit only one entry.  Employees of Vermont Magazine or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible.
 
Entries should be mailed to Vermont Writers’ Prize, c/o Green Mountain Power, 163 Acorn Lane, Colchester, VT  05446. All submissions will be acknowledged with a postcard within 30 days after they have been received.  Entries must be accompanied by a cover sheet that can be downloaded at www.greenmountainpower.com and at www.Vermontmagazine.com.
 
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Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power, 802-229-8200
Kristin.Carlson@greenmountainpower.com