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Author Ann Hood Names Winners in Student Writing Contest

Friday, May 11, 2012


The winning writers, flanked by John and Meg DeCubellis: Ethan Wright, Emily Fisher, and Jessica Malone.

Believable and heartbreaking, twists in the writing, and real tension, are just some of the words that New York Times best-selling author Ann Hood uses to describe the works of this year's top three winners in the Kate DeCubellis Memorial Foundation's 9th annual writing contest.

Hood, whose novel, The Knitting Circle, is currently being made into a movie by actress Katherine Heigl, took time out of her hectic schedule to judge the contest. “It is a tremendous honor that such an accomplished and acclaimed writer is willing to take time to give back to her community and support other aspiring writers, while at the same time raising awareness about the KDMF and its efforts, ” says Executive Director John DeCubellis.

Honoring the spirit of Katie

“After our daughter Katie died at the hands of a drunken driver, we wanted to find a way to carry on her legacy and keep her spirit alive,” says Meg DeCubellis. “As the years progressed we were fortunate enough to receive an outpouring of support and the writing contest is one way for us to give back to others and also raise awareness on important topics.”

This year's first place winner is Ethan Wright of Naragansett. Here is what Hood said about his short story, "Dead End": “I was impressed that Ethan changed points of view, writing from both the parents’ and the son's perspective. He wrote in clear scenes and did a terrific job of building tension. I really understood his character's conflict and appreciated that, at the end, the protagonist was forced to make a moral decision, one that I found believable and heartbreaking.”

The second place award goes to Emily Fisher of Coventry. Hood has this to say about her short essay, "Marshmallow Treats": “Emily created a wonderful sibling relationship in her submission. Both children come across as real people and their motives and desires are clear and true. The ending forces the older brother to make a choice and the twist that Emily used added to my satisfaction about the resolution.”

Jessica Malone of Smithfield came in third place. About Malone's essay, Hood said, “Jessica establishes her setting very well. She also creates a believable character. I absolutely felt for her protagonist because Jessica made her desires and emotional life so real. At the end, there was real tension as I watched the protagonist's actions. Very well done.”

The Kate DeCubellis Memorial Foundation

For the past nine years KDMF has awarded money and prizes to students who placed in the annual writing contest. For the 2012 contest the Foundation has a timely topic in which students are asked to create a situation or relate an event that demonstrates how an economic crisis impacts families, causes increased social pressure and/or leads to poor decision making.

A ceremony was held at the Warwick Mall to announce this year’s winners. Television reporter/WPRO radio anchor and children’s book author Laura Clarizio emceed the event.

The KDMF presented monetary awards to the winners. Additionally, professionally created posters with the winners’ names and writing entries will remain on display at the mall during the week following the ceremony. The winners also received an autographed copy of The Knitting Circle

For more information about the contest and annual scholarships that the KDMF awards visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.kdmf.org.

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