Jendi Reiter is vice president of Winning Writers, editor of The Best Free Literary Contests, and oversees the Winning Writers literary contests. She is the author of the novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press, 2016), the poetry collections Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree Publishing, 2015) and A Talent for Sadness (Turning Point Books, 2003), and the award-winning poetry chapbooks Swallow (Amsterdam Press, 2009) and Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). In 2010 she received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists' Grant for Poetry. Awards include the 2016 New Letters Prize for Fiction, the 2016 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction, the 2015 Wag's Revue Poetry Prize, the 2013 Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, the 2012 Betsy Colquitt Award for Poetry from Descant magazine, the 2011 James Knudsen Editor's Prize in Fiction from Bayou Magazine, the 2011 OSA Enizagam Award for Fiction, the 2010 Anderbo Poetry Prize, and second prize in the 2010 Iowa Review Awards for Fiction. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Criterion, Mudfish, Passages North, Cutthroat, Best American Poetry 1990, and many other publications.
Adam Cohen is president of Winning Writers and publisher of The Best Free Literary Contests. He acquired 10 years of experience in circulation marketing at The Atlantic Monthly, most recently as Circulation Director.
Ellen LaFleche is a judge of our North Street Book Prize. She has worked as a journalist and women's health educator in Western Massachusetts. Her manuscript, Workers' Rites, won the Philbrick Poetry Award from the Providence Athenaeum and was published as a chapbook in 2011. Another chapbook, Ovarian, was published in 2011 by the Dallas Poets Community Press, and a third chapbook, Beatrice, about a semi-cloistered nun, was published in 2012 by Tiger's Eye Press. Her poems have been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Hunger Mountain, New Millennium Writings, The Ledge, Alligator Juniper, Many Mountains Moving, Harpur Palate, Southeast Review, and Naugatuck River Review, among many others. Prose credits include her 2014 Daily Hampshire Gazette article "Taken too soon, at 65: My husband John Clobridge's final days with ALS" and the essay "Happily Ever After" about dealing with diabetes through fairy tale poetry, which appeared in Wordgathering, the online journal of disability poetics. She also reviews books for Wordgathering. She has won the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the New Millennium Poetry Prize (shared with Jim Glenn Thatcher), the DASH Poetry Journal Prize, the Poets on Parnassus Prize for poetry about the medical experience, second prize in The Ledge Poetry Awards, and the Editor's Choice Award for Poetry from Writecorner Press.
Lauren Singer is an assistant judge of the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize. She is a native New Yorker living in Western Massachusetts. Her poetry has been published in Nerve House, Bareback, Feel the Word, Read This, Kosmosis, One Night Stanzas, and other literary magazines across the country. In 2015 she received her MSW at the University of Chicago, is a graduate of Bard College at Simon's Rock and an attendee of the New York State Summer Writer's Institute. She has self-published three chapbooks, and received an honorable mention in the 2011 Wergle Flomp contest. In addition to her creative interests, Lauren works as a mental health clinician and therapist in Holyoke, MA. Lauren prides herself on her wealth of useless knowledge, namely of nineties R&B lyrics, and she can pretty much quote "The X-Files".
Winning Entry: regarding eggplant
Contest Won: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest 2011, Honorable Mention
Samantha Grace Dias
Samantha Grace Dias is assistant editor of Winning Writers. She is a freelance copyeditor and proofreader with over ten years' experience in perfecting content prior to publication. She has assisted countless authors, graduate students, nonprofits, and publishing companies in reaching their communications goals. Her corporate clients have included American Institutes for Research, Ave Maria Press, eBay, and Reputation.com. She works remotely from her home office in Massachusetts, reads writing style guides for fun, and is an ardent proponent of the serial comma.
Soma Mei Sheng Frazier
Soma Mei Sheng Frazier is the final judge of the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. She is an East Coast Native living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Her debut fiction collection, Collateral Damage: A Triptych, won the 2013 RopeWalk Press Editor's Fiction Chapbook Prize, and has earned praise from Nikki Giovanni, Daniel Handler (a/k/a Lemony Snicket), Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Antonya Nelson, Molly Giles and others. You can find her work online at Eclectica Magazine, Carve Magazine, Eleven Eleven, and Kore Press. Frazier's second fiction chapbook, Salve, was published in March 2016 by Nomadic Press, and new work is forthcoming in Glimmer Train and ZYZZYVA. Read this selection of poems and listen to her read with other Nomadic Press authors on KPFA 94.1 FM.
Her writing has been singled out by Robert Olen Butler, Nikki Giovanni, Jim Shepard, Frederick Barthelme, and others, and placed in literary competitions offered by Zoetrope, Glimmer Train, the Mississippi Review, HBO, and more. Her poetry and fiction have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and one of her award-winning short fiction pieces was named a Notable Story of 2009 by the storySouth Million Writers Award authors. Read Soma's brief Glimmer Train essay on literary craft.
Soma is Chair and Assistant Professor, English and the Humanities, at Cogswell Polytechnical College, and Founding Editor of Cog: a multimedia publication. She has also taught at the Sarah Lawrence College Summer High School Writers Program, Holy Names University, Gavilan College, Oakland School for the Arts, and Valhalla Women's Correctional Facility, and worked at KQED, the Bay Area's public media source.
Jim DuBois assists with the judging of the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. He studied writing and computers at Hampshire college. Now he spends his time inventing games, writing poetry and making art.
Annie Keithline assists with the judging of the North Street Book Prize. She specializes in odd jobs, having been an elevator operator, ghost tour guide, video store clerk, and pawnbroker. Starting in 2012 she spent twenty months walking 4,500 miles across the United States. Her writing has been published in Joseph Conrad Today, the official publication of the Joseph Conrad Society of America. Current projects include The Anchor and the Hourglass, a historical horror romance graphic novel set in her home state of Rhode Island.
Judy Juanita is the final judge of the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Her debut novel, Virgin Soul, chronicles a black female coming of age in the 60s who joins the Black Panther Party (Viking, 2013). Novelist Jean Thompson said of Virgin Soul: "Hard to believe it's been almost fifty years since the formation of the Black Panthers. The novel captures that time's particular combination of violence and possibility, and the urgency of young people who invested everything in the possibility of change, even as grand rhetoric was undercut by very human failings."
Juanita's collection of essays, De Facto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland (EquiDistance Press, 2016), examines the intersectionality of race, gender, politics, economics, and spirituality as experienced by a black activist and self-described "feminist foot soldier". DeFacto Feminism was selected as Book-of-the-Month for December 2016 by the African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC), and was a Kirkus Reviews Book-of-the-Month for March 2017, which gave it a starred review. Juanita is a contributing editor for The Weekling, an online journal, where many of the essays appeared. The collection was a distinguished finalist in OSU's 2016 Non/Fiction Collection Prize. Her work is archived at Duke University's John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.
Crab Orchard Review's Allison Joseph said Juanita's fiction "should be required reading for anyone studying the vicissitudes of recent American history." Juanita's short stories and essays appear widely, and her poetry has appeared in Obsidian II, 13th Moon, Painted Bride Quarterly, Croton Review, The Passaic Review, Lips, New Verse News, Poetry Monthly, and Drumrevue 2000.
In drama, Juanita's themes are social issues overlaid with absurdity, humor and pathos (in one play, a distraught nurse whose teenage son has overdosed falls head over heels in love with a duck). Her seventeenth play, "Theodicy", about two black men who accidentally fall into the river of death, won first runner-up of 186 plays in the Eileen Heckart 2008 Senior Drama Competition at Ohio State University
She was awarded New Jersey Arts Council Fellowships for her poetry and earned an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has taught writing at Laney College in Oakland, California, since 1993.