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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The winners of the Open Sky – Ekphrastic Writing Competition have been announced and a Fort St. John writer took home the top prize.

Shannon May Craig received the distinguished award for her piece, “The Rain Felt Like Sunshine,” Inspired by “Little Bee” by Caily Oldershaw.

Award-winning writer Shelley A. Leedahl, the competition’s juror, says Craig’s piece was” appealing on many levels.”

“… the interesting title; the use of alliteration and assonance; the generous use of colour (ideal for Ekphrastic poetry); the lovely idea of “A rain coat travelling/through wind and through ages”; the evocation of mood; the form (written in tercets); and the thematic consistency,” said Leedahl.

Craig received $200 and five greeting card prints of her work produced by the Peace Liard Arts Council.

Leedahl also recognized eight additional pieces from Northeast B.C. writers for the “chosen awards.”

“There were many fine poems here, and I congratulate each of the writers,” said Leedahl.

Chosen Award recipients:

1. Aleisha Hendry, Dawson Creek, BC – “Static” (Inspired by Tracy Krauss’s “White Noise”)
2. Barbara Daley, Fort St. John, BC – “Beach Rocks” (Inspired by Eliza Massey Stanford’s “Beach Rocks”)
3. Dori Braun, Pouce Coupe, BC – “Little Bee” (Inspired by Caily Oldershaw’s “Little Bee”)
4. Tony Takacs, Chetwynd, BC – “The Shack” (Inspired by Kim Ans’s “The Shack”)
5. Shannon May Craig, Fort St John, BC – “I’m done” (Inspired by Donna Bozarth’s “I’m Done”)
6. Pamela den Ouden, Fort St John, BC – “Father and Daughter” (Inspired by Kathie Young’s “Father and Daughter”)
7. Mel Mason, Fort St John, BC – “Choose Your Adventure” (Inspired by Drixx Salvador’s “Serenity”)
8. Katelyn Vandersteen, Fort Nelson, BC – “Untitled (Wolf)” (Inspired by “Untitled (Wolf)” by Ava Gairdner)

The PLAC describes ekphrasis as “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art.”

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Tre Lopushinsky is the News Director at, and a NAIT broadcasting graduate. His love for local journalism started in Lloydminster, where he realized the importance of covering issues/topics for smaller municipalities. He is also the co-host of Before The Peace, highlighting Indigenous voices in the North Peace. In his off time, Tre is yelling at his tv while watching pro wrestling, MMA, and basketball.