Art Tales Writing Contest

ArtTales Reception 2017

Art Tales Winners Announced


All participants invited to a reception & reading on June 8



Art Tales is pleased to announce our 2017 Art Tales Award winners. All winners will receive a certificate and bound edition of their entry. in addition, each first and second place winner will receive a cash prize and the third place winner receives a journal. All participants of the 9th annual Art Tales creative writing contest are invited to attend a special reception and reading with refreshments. This reception will take place at E.P. Foster Library, 2nd floor, 651 E Main St. in downtown Ventura on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30 pm. Family, friends and the public are also invited to attend this reception.

Winners are asked to RSVP to Art Tales Curator Tobie Roach by contacting her via email or via phone at 805-658-4759 by June 1.

The 2017 Art Tales Winners, view the 2017 Art Tales Anthology

Youth (12 or less) Poetry
First Place---Rachel Patrykus, Mirage Island, Age 12
Second Place---Gianne (Gigi) Garman, Splattered Waters, Age 11
Third Place---Katie Trevisan, A Whale's Tail, Age 11

Youth (12 or less) Fiction
First Place---Sidney Crutz, My Daughter, Age 12
Second Place---Amy Baumgardner , Bob the Blue Whale & the Trash Island, Age 9
Third Place---Sienna Mody, Stolen Ventura, Age 10

Teen (13-17) Poetry

First Place---Penelope (Penny) Duran, Savior of the Sea, Age 14, From TX
Second Place---Jolee Nieberding-Swanberg, Under, Age 17
Third Place---Sophie Stimer, Survivors, Age 16

Teen (13-17) Fiction
First Place---Nadia Connelly, Ventura by the Sea, Age 13
Second Place---Calista Marsh, The Last Whale, Age 16
Third Place---Anna Berezovskiy, Sun by the Sea, Age 14

Adult (18-up) Poetry
First Place---Melissa Waters, Living Waters
Second Place---Andres Rene Rodriguez, Magic Brush by the Sea
Third Place---Annabelle Warren, The Bight

Adult (18-up) Fiction
First Place---Patty Vickers, The Tides of March, From Maryland
Second Place---Juan David Cure, Luna de Viajes/Travelers Moon, From N. Carolina
Third Place---Rick Garcia, Crossing the Sea Bridge

We would like to thank all of this year's participants. It's amazing to read the many ways in which the artworks of our Municipal collection, as well as our Public Art, inspire such creative stories and poems. A record 123 works of short fiction and poems were submitted, inspired by City of Ventura Municipal Art Collection and Public Art created by artists, Blue McRight & Warren Wagner, Tom McMillin, Leonard Poteshman and Michelle Stevens and team. Contestants ranged in age from kindergarten to over 80 years old with most entries from Ventura County: 33 by adults, 30 by teens and 60 by youth, 12 or under.

We would also like to thank our five contest judges. They were Ventura County Poet Laureate Phil Taggart, Ventura County Librarian Irma Morales, Ventura Poet Richard Newsham, Ventura Library Advisory Commissioner Debbie Giles and Community Partnerships Manager Denise Sindelar. The judges received all entries "blind"-- i.e., identified only by (1) a number, (2) the artwork that inspired it, (3) the prose or poetry category and (4) the age group of the writer.

Entries are accepted each year. Check back on this page for more information on the 2018 Art Tales Contest.

  1. How To Enter
  2. Judging
  3. Awards & Reading
  4. Contest Rules
  1. Visit E.P. Foster Library, 651 E Main St in Ventura, to view the current exhibit of artworks from the City of Ventura Municipal Art Collection: View images and complete contest kit.
  2. Write an original poem or short story (no more than 500 words in length) inspired by one of the artworks there that "calls" to you. Only one contest entry per person please.
  3. Prepare your entry as an electronic word document, in a twelve-point font, including at the top: the author's name, address, phone number, email address, age, title of work and number of words.
  4. Submit your entry by contest deadline to [email protected] by email only with #arttales contest entry# as the email subject line - together with a completed release form (see next item below).
  5. Complete a release form. Parents must do this for youth entries under 18 - Save a copy to your desktop, fill it in, then save and send it along with your entry poem or short story.
  1. Background
  2. Municipal Art Collection
The City of Ventura is pleased to sponsor the annual creative contest open to all writers worldwide in partnership with E.P. Foster Library located at 651 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. The contest invites imaginative writers of all ages to compose a short story or poem (500 words maximum) inspired by one of the artworks currently on exhibit at the library from the Municipal Art Collection. These selections from the City Hall collection are rotated annually to a special second floor exhibit space near the library's rear (children's) entrance in an effort to make them more accessible to the community.

Archive: Contest Anthologies & Documents