2021 Vermont Writers’ Prize Winners Announced and Published in VERMONT Magazine
Collaboration Between GMP and VERMONT Magazine Honors Writing About Vermont with Awards for Poetry and Prose
COLCHESTER, Vt. – The winners of the 2021 Vermont Writers’ Prize are Lindsay Knowlton of Glover for poetry and Douglas Robert Boardman Jr. of Johnson for prose. Each winner receives $1,250 and their works appear in the summer issue of VERMONT Magazine, which is available now.
“Serving on the panel of judges for the Vermont Writers’ Prize is one of the highlights of my year,” says Joshua Sherman, M.D., the publisher of VERMONT Magazine. “I love learning about people’s lives and perspectives. And certainly, great storytelling both articulates and creates a shared communal experience. This year’s winners, ‘The Barn’ by Douglas Robert Boardman Jr. and ‘Death of a Barn’ by Lindsay Knowlton, do just that.”
The Prize was launched in 1989 to celebrate writing about Vermont and Vermonters, while honoring the literary legacy of the late Ralph Nading Hill Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and longtime 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 and is a collaboration between GMP and VERMONT Magazine.
“Celebrating the art of writing and how it can connect communities by highlighting all that makes Vermont such a special place to live is the goal of this competition, and each year writers deliver insightful, engaging works that are a treat to read,” said Steve Costello, a vice president of GMP and a Writers’ Prize judge.
In ‘The Barn,’ Douglas Boardman writes about a dairy farmer trying to keep standing the barn his great-grandfather built. Boardman says the story is based in part on his family.
“It had started to sag at one end where it leaked in the summer while the corners filled up with snow in the winter. The cows, who preferred to stay neutral, never complained as long as they got fed and milked according to schedule.”
– From ‘The Barn,’ by Douglas Robert Boardman Jr.
Lindsay Knowlton’s poem also features a barn, by giving it human qualities – a testament to the architecture’s role in Vermonters’ lives.
“Pride of its weathervane far past remembrance
and stately cupola doomed,
the abandoned barn has long yearned to sit down,
and now after years
of wind and weather goading its boards,
the barn will have its way.”
– From ‘Death of a Barn – Greensboro, Vermont,’ by Lindsay Knowlton
The deadline to enter the 2022 Vermont Writers’ Prize is Jan. 1, 2022, and entries are being accepted now. Submissions can include essays, short stories and poems that focus on “Vermont – Its People, Its Places, Its History or Its Values.” Entries must be unpublished and less than 1,500 words long. Individuals may submit only one work. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. Employees of VERMONT Magazine or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. You can submit your entry here:
VERMONT Magazine’s Summer issue is on sale now and you can read the winning entries.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 266,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation, and in 2019 GMP earned the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power
Celebrating the art of writing and how it can connect communities by highlighting all that makes Vermont such a special place to live is the goal of this competition, and each year writers deliver insightful, engaging works that are a treat to read.Steve Costello, GMP Vice President and a Writers’ Prize judge