Joy of the Pen




Maine is a state full of writers, whether it is the natural beauty of the terrain that is inspirational or something within the temperament of the artist that is drawn to the independent spirit of the place, there is a long tradition of authors residing here. Joy of the Pen is a wonderful platform to show off their talent and to provide a community event to bring everyone together.

This year, we awarded the following prizes, sponsored by The Cryer: The Verdi L. Tripp Fiction Award, Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award and Richard F. Snow Nonfiction Award and sponsored by Just Write Books: Maine-related Nonfiction Award and Honorable Mention. We also awarded Honorable Mentions in Fiction, Poetry and Nonfiction, sponsored by the Friends of The Topsham Public Library and Teen Awards and Honorable Mentions are sponsored by TPL Teen Scene. You can read the winning entries and author bios, watch readings and much, much more on the online Joy of the Pen Literary Journal.

  • The competition is open to year-round residents of Maine and for unpublished work only.


The 2020 Joy of the Pen application process is closed. Please visit the online Joy of the Pen Literary Journal for more information.  You’ll also find a full description, winning entries, photos, audio clips of readings, and author bios.  Subscribe via email to stay up to date on the latest news.


Contact Emma for more details about this annual writing competition…

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners!

The Verdi L. Tripp Fiction Award: Peter Simmons for The Premium Plan
Fiction Honorable Mention: Michael Tooher for 180°
Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award: Matt Bernier for The Day Mary Oliver Died
Poetry Honorable Mention: Richard K. Williams for Growth
Richard F. Snow Nonfiction Award: Cynthia Larson for Reshuffling
Nonfiction Honorable Mention: John Reinhart for Odds
Nonfiction Honorable Mention: Chris Chapman for Great Escapes
Just Write Maine-related Nonfiction Award: Shannon Bowring for Fresh Cut
Maine-related Nonfiction Honorable Mention: Lynne Schmidt for Lions and Tabby Cats: An Ode to How Snowboarding Saved My Life
TPL Teen Fiction Award: Josy Hollenbach for This is Where It Gets Better
TPL Teen Poetry Award: Emma Haims for Afraid of Humanity
TPL Kids Fiction Award: Mattheus Reinhart for The Backstory of Bagel-Grease’s Scar
TPL Kids Poetry Award: Lucien Reinhart for When the Trees Were Made of Cotton Candy
Pandemic Reflections Award: Lorraine Davis for Sylvia
Pandemic Reflections Honorable Mention: Lucien Reinhart for Covid Chronicles