• Honoring Our Nature Writing Contest Winners – Virtually!

    Please join us in honoring the winners of our 25th Annual Nature Writing Contest by enjoying these “virtual celebration” videos of some of them reading their acclaimed works, paired with the thoughts of this year’s contest judges (bios below).

    You may also like to read along using the following links; those in italics are featured in the videos.

    Now sit back, relax, and enjoy some great Nature writing, park friends!


    “Virtual Celebration” Videos

    Child Categories (Ages 11 & Under)

    Adolescent Categories (Ages 12-17)

    Adult Categories (Ages 18+)


    Published Winners

    Child Prose
    1st – Chloe Murphy, “Garden Friends”
    2nd – Colby Sapp, “The Outdoors and me”
    3rd – Audrey Ronayne, “Whirlwind”
    Honorable Mention – Ophelia Silvia, “The Bird Race”
    Honorable Mention – Michael Zhu, “A Strange Day”

    Child Poetry
    1st – Isabelle Armstrong, “Animal Homes”
    2nd – Natalie George, “Water”
    3rd – Sienna Taylor, “The Great Outdoors”
    Honorable Mention – Lena Wright, “Walk Among the Trees”
    Honorable Mention – Jack Penny, “Spring (Haiku)”

    Adolescent Prose
    1st – Samyuktha Iyer, “Lightning on the Tapestry of Brilliant Twilight”
    2nd – Qiwen Wu, “A Flash”
    3rd – Abby Gemech, “A Seed of Hope”
    Honorable Mention – Serena Nouraldin, “The Oncoming Storm”
    Honorable Mention – Justin Phillips, “Seasons”

    Adolescent Poetry
    1st – Elise Tibert, “Dusky Dream”
    2nd – Meghan Bhanoo, “Wash Me Clean”
    3rd – Maya Taylor, “The Electric Storm”
    Honorable Mention – Noelle Rudersdorf, “The Year”
    Honorable Mention – Amber Zeiler, “A Heart Is Where the Horse Is”

    Adult Prose
    1st – Kevin Louise Schaner, “Nature Is Essential”
    2nd – Lori Vaught, “Township Creek Number 3”
    3rd – Christie Frenchie, “The Perennial Season”
    Honorable Mention – Mary C. Ryan, “The Argument”
    Honorable Mention – Andrew France, “A Morning in the Mountains”

    Adult Poetry
    1st – Halle Blados, “A Corvidae Contest”
    2nd – Christina Mihalic, “Bird in the Hand”
    3rd – Ben Fekete, “Sufferfest”
    Honorable Mention – Sarah Marcus-Donnelly, “Revival, Revival”
    Honorable Mention – Laura Reed, “Full Eclosure”


    About the Judges

    Our judge of Child Prose & Poetry, Dr. Katherine Orr has seen her poems appear in The Kenyon Review, The Texas Review, The Midwest Quarterly Journal of Contemporary Thought and many other literary journals and anthologies. She has led poetry workshops in and around Northeast Ohio for many years, and her most recent research focuses on the uses of poetry and metaphor as healing agents. Presently she teaches Poetry and Creative Writing at Kent State University, and is a longtime friend of the Geauga parks.”

    Our judge of Adolescent Prose & Poetry, Jenny Clark – teacher, poet, grandmother, Nature lover – leads Nature writing workshops once each season at Look About Lodge. Before the pandemic you could find her the first Saturday of most months offering a journal class at Hamlet Village in Chagrin Falls. At sunrise or sunset she walks beside a lake, looking, listening and discovering new delights. Her poems have appeared in small magazines, and her journals that explore questions you may never have thought to ask fill an entire closet.

    Our judge of Adult Prose & Poetry, Bob Coughlin is a poet and professor of English at Lakeland Community College, now mostly retired. Bob is a co-founder and editor of the Chagrin River Review, an online journal. He was born in Willoughby-on-the-Lake, raised in Euclid, and now lives in Hambden Township. He is an avid hiker and fiddle player. Bob and his wife, Linda, have three daughters and five grandchildren scattered around the country from Montana to Columbus to Mentor. As Garrison Keillor used to say, in this family “all the women are strong and all the children and grandchildren are above average.”