2022 Vermont Writers’ Prize Winners Published in Vermont Magazine
Awards for Poetry and Prose are Recognized Through a Collaboration Between Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine
COLCHESTER, Vt. – The winners of the 2022 Vermont Writers’ Prize are Ann Cooper of Middlebury for her poem ‘The Cusp,’and Gail Elizabeth Wind of Newark for her essay ‘Twenty-Eight & Counting.’ The Vermont Writers’ Prize recognizes the work of an author focused on an aspect of Vermont. Winners receive $1,250 and their works appear in the summer issue of Vermont Magazine, which is available now.
“The Vermont Writer’s Prize is always a highlight of our year,” says Dr. Joshua Sherman, CEO of Old Mill Road Media and Publisher of Vermont Magazine. “We are grateful to all of the writers who shared a piece of themselves through their Vermont stories and poems – and to the team of judges who carefully reviewed all of the entries.”
The Vermont Writers’ Prize, launched in 1989, celebrates writing about Vermont. It was created to honor the literary legacy of the late Ralph Nading Hill Jr., a Vermont historian, 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.
In her poem, ‘The Cusp,’ Ann Cooper celebrates the seasons and nature’s ability to transfix us with variety and beauty each year.
My favorite part of autumn is the time
when its exuberance equals summer’s calmer hue,
just before all is set ablaze.
But even at its peak I know,
I dread, what lies ahead:
gray cold, stick silhouettes
against the steely sky.
– From ‘The Cusp’ by Ann Cooper
Gail Elizabeth Wind’s essay, ‘Twenty-Eight & Counting,’ recounts moving to Vermont, experiencing its surprises for the first time, and how she fell in love with her new home. The ‘twenty-eight’ in the title of her work refers to the number of winters she’s now called Vermont home. In this moment from her essay, she and her family have just arrived, and their moving truck is stuck in the mud.
I struggled with it until Russel Bedor the grader operator came up the hill across from our house.
He eyed the truck, me, the house, me, the truck again and then said, “Stuck?”
“Yeah,” I said, with embarrassment. “I guess we are.”
His next words, verbatim I swear, were, “Want me to snick you out of there?” Like that Queen-Mary-sized U-Haul was an Easter Basket that had blown into a thicket of burdock.
– From ‘Twenty-Eight & Counting’ by Gail Elizabeth Wind
“Each year, dozens of writers submit their works, and we are proud to help celebrate creativity and reflection about this place we call home. If you’re inspired by your experience in Vermont and enjoy writing poetry or prose you should enter. We’re already accepting entries for the 2023 prize,” said Kristin Carlson, a vice president of GMP.
The deadline to enter the 2023 Vermont Writers’ Prize is Jan. 1, 2023, and entries are open 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 for prose, and less than 40 lines long for poetry. 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 here.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 270,000 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 Carlson, Green Mountain Power
The Vermont Writer’s Prize is always a highlight of our year.Dr. Joshan Sherman, CEO Old Mill Road Media and Publisher of Vermont Magazine