***I partied so hard, I forgot to officially post congratulations to Ver . She's the reason we were dancing on the tables, eating good food, and drinking Eileen's wine. Is it September yet? Cause I wanna read this story!***
"Bernie Aragon Jr. Looks for Love," a lighthearted and poignant short story by Veronica Montes, captured First Prize in The Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition sponsored by Our Own Voice, a literary ezine. The story will appear online at http://www.oovrag.com in September.
Veronica Montes is a native of San Francisco, California. Her fiction has been published in the literary journals, Prism International, Furious Fictions, and maganda, and in the anthologies Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America (Anvil, 1997), Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, 2003), and Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas (Calyx, 2003). She maintains a
blog at www.vmontes.blogspot.com/
Dr. Luisa Igloria, sole judge for the competition, is Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program & Department of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In reviewing the entries, she praises Bernie Aragon as a 'well-rounded story' because of its balanced mix of humor and pathos." As a fictionist herself and a multi-awarded poet, Dr. Igloria notes that Bernie Aragon possesses a "confident sense of dialogue and place...resurrect[ing] the narratives of [an] era rife with the tensions of racial violence, anti-miscegenation and other discriminatory practices; and dramatizes the situation of Filipino busboys and migrant workers in 1927 Watsonville and up and down the West Coast."
Veronica Montes will receive a check for $100 and a copy of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (Firstfruits/PWU, 2003). Our Own Voice extended an invitation for her to read her prize-winning story at a gathering of writers in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC in Spring 2006 for the LOC Asian Division's centennial commemoration of the Filipino First Wave Migration to the U.S.
The competition was named for Ivy Terasaka who was an emerging writer vacationing with her family when the Tsunami of 2004 swept the beach resort where they were to spend their holiday. For a short while, she was a familiar face and voice at various Singapore literary events. In late 2003, Ivy discovered Our Own Voice and submitted a short story. The "Last Time I Saw Nanay" was published posthumously in the January 2005 issue of Our Own Voice here.To honor her dream of being a writer, the editors of the cyberspace ezine will be holding the annual competition in her memory.
Ten finalists were selected by the Editorial Board and presented to the independent judge for selection of the winners. No awards were given for Second or Third Prize this year. The competition attracted entries from around the world. A majority of submissions were from the United States and the Philippines, and other entries came from The Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia.
-- C. Brainard