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South Valley Journal

Senior authors invited to submit essay, poetry entries

Aug 22, 2019 04:29PM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray

The 2019 Silver Pen writing contest theme is “A story I haven’t told you.” Contest organizers are seeking essay submissions under 500 words and poems 36 lines and fewer. (Stock photo courtesy of Pixabay.)

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

The saying goes, “Everyone has a story to tell,” and Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services in conjunction with Salt Lake Community College want to read the untold stories of Salt Lake residents over the age of 60. 

The 2019 Silver Pen writing contest theme is “A story I haven’t told you.” Contest organizers are seeking essay submissions under 500 words and poems 36 lines and fewer. 

Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center hosted two essay writing workshops and two poetry workshops during the summer months to help seniors with their entries. 

“At the workshops, we typically have a mix of people,” said Melissa Helquist, director of the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center. “The workshops are helpful because the writers are able to share strategies and get feedback on their stories.”  

“We always want to give an opportunity for reflection,” said Susie Cates, manager for Mt. Olympus Senior Center. “We try to choose a theme that will make it interesting enough that people can interpret it differently.” 

Last year, 65 entries were judged and three winners were chosen from each category. Entries are due Sept. 2 at 11:59 p.m. and must be submitted online at https://slco.org/aging-adult-services/silver-pen/.

“If anyone is having trouble submitting their entry, they can go to their nearest senior center, and we will help them,” Cates said. 

While the entry form asks which senior center entrants are affiliated with, Cates said you don’t have to be a member of a senior center to enter the contest. 

“The contest is open to all seniors over the age of 60 in Salt Lake county,” Cates said.

“A lot of people have stories to share,” said Cates. “[The Silver Pen writing contest] gives them the opportunity to share their writing and learn from others.”