VSA New Jersey Honors Winners Of New Jersey Wordsmith Competition

NEW BRUNSWICK – VSA New Jersey (VSA/NJ) announced the winners of its 18th Annual Joyce Indik New Jersey Wordsmith Competition. The Wordsmith Competition accepted submissions of poems, essays, short stories and plays by New Jersey residents ages 18 and over.

Winners of the 18th Annual Joyce Indik New Jersey Wordsmith Competition:

Essays: Walter Bowne, Jr. of Cherry Hill for “Omission” and Lisa Rose Fitton of Freehold for “The Hug”

Play: Mary Casella of Englewood for “A” Is For Andy


  • Henry Busby of Edison for “Poets Unite!”
  • Barbara Johnson Grunstra of Bloomfield for “A Precious Gift”
  • Diane Khoury of Cresskill for “Grief”
  • Suzanne Koiro of Northfield for “An Unlikely Pianist”
  • Eric Nierstedt of Garwood for “Why I Talk To The Dead”
  • Doug Otto of Ocean City for “1957”
  • Danielle Pettiford of Newark for “Should I Call You On Father’s Day?”
  • Alethea Woods of Atlantic City for “Heroin”.

Short Stories: Dawn E. Martin of Mount Laurel for “Giving Up Perfect” and Michael Penncavage of Oak Ridge for “Landlord”

Winning entries will be read at the Joyce Indik Readers’ Theatre on Saturday, March 24, at 2 p.m. at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick. This event is held free of charge and is open to the public. Sign language interpretation will be provided; and assistive listening devices are available. Open captioning will be provided with support from the New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Founded in 1978, VSA/NJ is a part of the international VSA network, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. VSA New Jersey is dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities. Programming and services include arts education, professional development, award competitions, workshops, festivals, and performances.

For more information on this and other VSA/NJ programs, visit www.vsanj.org.

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