Tag Archives: Saturday Writers

A Saturday Writers Prize for Redwoods!

Photo by Jon Walton

Saturday Writers is a most supportive writers’ group. I’ve been honored over the years that they’ve chosen some of my writing for prizes in their well-organized contests. Most recently, the poem below won a 2nd place prize. It may even be published in a future anthology. I thank all the folks who administer these competitions. It’s never an easy task.

Redwoods

Thick robes of bark wrap round you,

Cover you in auburn 

Velvet folds.

You are ancient sages

Recording eons,

Living still. 

Oak leaves bound to life since spring

Sail down a golden sunlight wave

Through forest shadows —

Never to know silent years,

Or snows.

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page, poetry

One Poet’s Process

Saturday Writers columnist Diane How published a brief interview with me conducted after my poem “Caesura” won the winter contest. Here’s what she had to say:

“April’s contest also included a first-place poetry winner. Robert Walton won with his twelve-line poem, Caesura. This brief verse journeys from burgundy October memories to hopeful emerald May eyes. I was surprised when Robert said he doesn’t write poetry. What???? 

Then he explained, “I never write poetry. Poetry writes me. An image or a thought seizes me unbidden and leads to the beginnings of a poem. That’s not to say that craft doesn’t enter in while I’m trying to find the poem’s truest shape.” Now that is poetic. 

His journey of explanation regarding where the inspiration came from is a story in itself. “One of the inspiring things about parenthood is that it never ends. Eldest son Jeremy was winding up his research project for the Max Planck Institute last autumn. He needed to move his stuff out of both his office and a pied -a-terre flat in 

Goettingen, Germany. Everything (a lot, believe me! Jeremy collects vinyl!) had to go from there to his family home in Zagreb, Croatia. He drafted me to help with packing and moving. In between the packing and toting sessions, he had professional responsibilities to fulfill. Pop had to stay out of the way and amuse himself. I often did so in the garden behind Max Planck’s HQ, a lovely, wooded place, good for reading while listening to the fountain and its brook. Ah, the fountain!” 

Robert’s simple advice to other writers is brief and powerful much like his poem. “Keep your eyes wide open — always!” 

And there you have it, folks. Keep your eyes open and your pen or laptop ready. Inspiration surrounds us. Now it’s your turn to write a winning entry and I can’t wait to read it!” 

Thanks very much, Diane!

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A Poem Honored by Saturday Writers

I belong to a very active, very supportive writers’ group called Saturday Writers. They just awarded a poem of mine first place in their spring contest. I am most pleased and honored!

February, March and April Poetry Contest ​
Themes: Mountains, Bodies of Water & Prairies 

First Place: Robert Walton for Caesura
Second Place: Susan Gore Zahra for Kansas Snapshots
Third Place: Billie Holladay Skelley for Mountain Lovers
Honorable Mention:Cathleen Callahan for Letter from the Frontier Prairie
Honorable Mention:Carol Roberson for The Church on the Hill 
Honorable Mention:Donna Mork Reed for Solitary Bird

Here’s the poem:

Caesura

Burgundy leaves,

Swaying in October breezes

Escaped from coming winter,

Dip toward a brook

Soon to be ice,

Its chimes and murmurs

Not yet muted —

A conversation 

To be resumed

When bursting buds

Open emerald eyes

In May.

Caesura

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A Prize for Crescent Moon

My poem Crescent Moon was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Saturday Writers winter poetry contest. I look forward to its eventual publication sometime next year!

“Saturday Writers  February, March and April Poetry Contest Winners:

First Place: Cathleen Callahan for Ripples

Second Place: Cathleen Callahan for High Place

Third Place: Cathleen Callahan for Echoic Spheres

Honorable Mention: Jeanne Felfe for The Gulf

Honorable Mention: Kenneth Lee for The Hatchling

Honorable Mention: Robert Walton for Crescent Moon

Congratulations!”

Heather Hartmann

2021 Contest Chair

Saturday Writers

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page, poetry

All Black Lives Matter – Duck Plucking Time

The new anthology published by Saturday Writers

The centuries long struggle for racial justice and equality continues. I am honored to have two stories about this struggle included in the Saturday Writers’ new anthology, “Duck Plucking Time” and “Sockdologizer”. 

         Some decades ago, I recall sharing a campfire with an old friend. Campfire talk led us to recalling childhood experiences, his in a Jim Crow borderland state, mine in deep South Alabama. This conversation eventually sparked a fictional exploration of our shared history – “Duck Plucking Time”.

         Historian Jim Bishop did a stellar job of detailing the traumatic events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination in his book The Day Lincoln was Shot.

I saw a chance to employ his work in a fictional treatment of those events. By creating characters, adding dialog and basing my story on Mr. Bishop’s sequence of events I hoped to pull young readers into the history by putting them next to the characters, both historical and fictional. “Sockdologizer” is the result. It won first place in the Saturday Writers contest for youth fiction.

Please view the teaching materials I’ve prepared for Sockdologizer on TPT. I’ve made both scripts for the story and classroom activities:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-Part-1-Common-Core-for-the-Civil-War-4478213

Here are the classroom activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-teaching-activities-for-part-1-of-the-RT-script-4923109

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Filed under Front Page, published story

Sockdologizer takes 1st place

I just received the official award certificate for “Sockdologizer”. It won first place in a most competitive contest and I’m proud of the result. You teachers out there, please take a look at the activities I’ve prepared for this story on TPT. They include a scripted reading of the story – a most powerful teaching tool!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-teaching-activities-for-part-1-of-the-RT-script-4923109

And Part 2

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-Part-2-Common-Core-for-the-Civil-War-4929607#show-price-update

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“Sockdologizer” takes first place!

Abraham Lincoln entered Ford Theater on April 14th, 1865 and walked down the dress circle’s aisle to his doom.Historian Jim Bishop did a stellar job of detailing the events surrounding Lincoln’s assassination in his The Day Lincoln was Shot.

I created characters, added dialog and based my story on Mr. Bishop’s sequence of events. I hoped to pull readers into the history by putting them next to the characters, both historical and fictional. I was a great fan of Walter Chronkyte’s show “You are There” and tried for the immediacy that was one of its most powerful elements.

I’m most pleased to tell you that this story just won first place in the Saturday Writers “Everything Children Contest”. I hope this story, once published, will find a YA readership.

 

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