2020 Berries, Bridges, & Books

Page Turner 

 and Poetry Contest



A Page Turner is a story that is so interesting and exciting that the reader can’t stop reading and must turn the page to see what happens next. Is your story impossible to put down? Submit the first page of your manuscript and see if your story has what it takes to keep readers turning pages!



2020 Guidelines


Author retains copyright.


This contest is offered at no cost to anyone pre-registered for the conference.


Treat your entry as a work you are sending to a publisher. Do not deviate from guidelines.


Categories: Children / Young Adult / Adult / Poetry

One entry per category


Guidelines for Prose Entries


1) One page only, and that is first page of story, written in English, original and  

unpublished. Your name must not appear on your story page.

2) Font: Times New Roman 12 pt., double spaced.

3) On the first line, extreme left corner, write the category CAPITALIZED .

4) On the same line, centered, write the story’s title.

5) Drop two lines and write your entry.

6) First line of each paragraph indented 0.5 inches.

7) Do not use bold type.

 Italics acceptable for quotes, emphasis, character’s thoughts.


On a separate coversheet, write the category, title of work, your name, street address, city, state, zip code, email address, phone number. Center in the middle of page.

Be sure the title is on both the entry and the coversheet.


Guidelines for Poetry Entries


Any poetry form is acceptable.


1) Narrative: tells a story

2) Lyric: expresses an emotion

3) Dramatic:


  a) Narrative: tells a story by the person involved

  b) Monologue: speaking to others

  c) Soliloquy: speaking alone (to one’s self)


 4.) Free Verse


Not to exceed one page. Use writing guidelines for prose.


Email to: tdhargis2010@yahoo.com. Use Windows 7, 8, or 10.


ALL entries must be received by midnight Friday, June 7, 2019.


A receipt for an entry will be emailed to the author.


Any entry not meeting the above guidelines will be disqualified.


The winning entries will be read to the assembly.


Prizes for prose and poetry:

First Place: $20.00 Gift Card and Certificate of Merit

Second-Place: Certificate of Merit

Third-Place: Certificate of Merit

No entry will be returned to author by U.S. Postal Service. 

Entries will be returned at the end of the conference. If entry is not picked up, the piece will be destroyed by shredding.

     2020 Berries, Bridges, & Books Page Turner 

 and Poetry Contest Winners:


Young Adult:

1st Place:  Aaron Gordon, Ponchatoula, LA  – “Lorien”



1st Place:  Susan Newton, Ocean Springs, MS  – “Sunrise/Sunset”

2nd Place:  Tanya Whitney, Sorrento, LA  – “Sunday Morning Faith”

3rd Place:  Clyde Eschete, Ponchatoula, LA  – “Ventilator”


Adult Fiction:

1st Place:  Beti Spangel, Poplarville, MS  – “The Pride of Lions”

2nd Place Tied:

              Steve Patrick, Kenner, LA  – “The Fallen Soldier”

              Brenda Gallaher, Tickfaw, LA  – “The Thick, Sticky Air”

3rd Place Tied:

              Tracey Boyle, Hammond, LA  – “The Return”

              Adam Ware, Holden, LA  – “The Strongman”

The 1st place winning entries of the 2020 Page Turners contest. Congratulations to all winners and participants. Thank you to all who made the contest possible. These 1st place entries will be posted on our Creative Minds Writers Group website soon.

Poetry – “Sunrise/Sunset” by Susan S. Newton

Young Adult – “Lorien” by Aaron Gordon

Adult – “The Pride of Lions” by Beti Spangel

Sunrise/Sunset: Poetry Age Group Adult Page Turner 2020 — Entry P4



Sleepy eyes barely behold the waking of the Earth. A new day, a new promise to offer, more than the day before. Renewed spirit, rekindled flame, poised to do it all over again. Heavy hearts and broken souls, can't resist the assurance of sunrise. We take that pledge with us through the balance of the day, searching for the fulfillment of the pledge.


The heavens are ablaze in a radiant kaleidoscope tonight last dying embers so stunning, rapidly fading into horizontal oblivion. I gaze out of my evening window in awestruck gratitude! What a gift a sunset is — a true statement of our magnificent planet.

We are here but for a short time, in the immense scale of eons of existence. Yet, we are recipients of grandeur greater than our own awareness. Sunset — one small expression of the hope we have for the future — the hope we need to carry on.


Lorien: Young Adult Fiction Page Turner 2020 — Entry A18


     It was a stormy night in Glen Burnie, Maryland. As rain pounded the windshield of the ambulance, lightning illuminated the clouds in the night as it fingered across the night sky. Lorien, the driver of the ambulance, squinted to see. Her head was throbbing from the stress of driving in the h01Tible stonn. The roar of the ambulance's diesel engine combined with the blaring of the sirens created a headache that no amount of Ibuprofen could ever relieve. She already had two near misses earlier in the evening. Right after she started her shift at 6:00 p.m.

some fool in a Ford Crown Victoria slid onto the highway from a merge and nearly collided with her ambulance. Around 7:30 pm, a Jeep Wrangler ran a red light and almost T-boned her ambulance. Both events really scared her.

     As the ambulance sped along Veterans' Highway, Lorien had a hard time concentrating and her mind began to wander. She kept thinking about her husband. Her husband Jim died recently. He was choking in a restaurant when a huge, muscular man tried to give him the Heimlich maneuver. The man broke two of Jim's ribs in the process. One of the ribs pierced his aorta and he bled to death internally. She missed him so much. The past two months since his death were a waking nightmare for her. Jim's loss was too much to bear.

     Lorien's dad had died when she was four and her mother was a drunk. As a result, she developed problems. She was antisocial and distrusting. She became jealous of those that were able to find love and make friends. Sometimes her mind would delight in dark fantasies of murder and revenge. Visions of people suffering seemed to ease the weight of her pain. Jim had been her only close relationship, her anchor. Perhaps it should not have surprised people when she ran her ambulance into the hospital emergency room. Nevertheless, surprise and terror were felt by all as the eight-thousand-pound vehicle slammed through the plate glass windows into the waiting area. Survivors all remembered one vivid image they could never forget.

The Pride of Lions: Adult (21 year plus) Page Turner 2020 — Entry A13

     This was going to be a hardcore game. Time to man-up and show what he was made of. That jerk Anthony had joked about his inability to throw a straight line one too many times. Tim had been shamed in front of Nancy about how badly he played the game, which was nothing short of a reflection on his masculinity, age 12 or not. If he didn't prove victorious in a game of Jarts against Anthony, the idiot would be tormenting him the rest of the summer.

Nancy was sweet and unassuming, and Tim's time with her at the lake was brief. Unlike he and his family, she didn't stay all summer; only 4 weeks and she would head back to the city.

Tim had to make a lasting impression so she wouldn't forget him until next year.

It was so hot he could smell the grass, and Tim would have rather spent the day at the beach. He could hear boats on the lake and the porch radio playing 1977s Top 20 hits. He lifted the top off the beaten box to reveal the Jarts nestled together like giant darts.

     Tim took out the plastic goal rings, one green, the other red, and tossed them on the lawn. The radio announced the top of the hour with their usual jingle and start of the Associated Press news. Anthony would be here shortly. The sun beat on the back of his neck.

He lifted the Jarts out of the box, three of each color to match the rings. They had a comforting, definite weight to them, these large projectiles: three thick plastic flanges fitted onto a solid cylinder of metal finished off by a heavy point that dove into the ground with precision and definiteness when tossed correctly. He brushed some dried dirt off one of the points.

Tim heard Anthony's laugh and the voices of others as they came up the road. He imagined Anthony had gathered some of the other kids with him to witness this final decimation of his character. Fine, he thought, bring it on. I'll kick your butt five ways to Sunday, and if I can't, then I'll put one of these Jarts through your stupid heart. That'll show Nancy. That'll show

them all.

Thank you to all who entered. We hope to see you at our next Conference.