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Winners named in Rose Post Nonfiction Contest

Essays about America’s love/hate relationship with math, the ways in which narcissism leads to murder, and a disease whose victims are afflicted by the weather captured the top honors in the 2009 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition.
Stephanie Whetstone of Durham won first place for her entry “Mathitudes.” Final judge Eli Hastings said, ” ‘Mathitudes’ explores the divisive love for and loathing of mathematics in American culture by recounting … the author’s unlikely journey from victim of intense math anxiety to math tutor. It does so with humor, lyricism, and superb social criticism, too.”
Whetstone is a graduate of Duke University and the master’s program in creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was fiction editor for the Greensboro Review and is a lecturer at UNCG. Her fiction was nominated for Best New American Voices 2009, and her poetry has appeared in Bloodroot and Appalachian Heritage.
“The Culture of Narcisside” by Cynthia Lewis won second place. Hastings said Lewis’s essay “whirls the reader through an academic examination of ‘narcisside’ (spousal murder for narcissistic reasons) in American society and proceeds to reveal with robust and impenetrable reasoning that despite the media’s treatment of it, narcissism’s poison seed is neither exogenous nor unrelated to our lives or our culture ó or to the … genre of memoir.”
Lewis is Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson College. A Shakespearean scholar, she also teaches and writes nonfiction, mostly essays about American culture, including such topics as women bodybuilders, professional gambling in Las Vegas and the world of debutantes. For the last two years, one of her essays has been cited as a “Notable Essay” by the editor of The Best American Essays.
“Mother Nature’s Calling” by Sheilah Zimpel of Denver won third place, with Hastings noting that it presents “a portrait of the compelling yet disturbing disease afflicting the author’s mother. Burdened by an acute and unrelenting sensitivity to meteorology that medical science is at a loss to explain, the author muses with humor but not without genuine emotion on the nature of life, death, and how just maybe the patient is tuning in to a distant frequency.”
Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network and administered by the creative writing department at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition encourages the creation of lasting nonfiction work that is outside the realm of conventional journalism. The contest is open to any legal resident of North Carolina or member of the N.C. Writers’ Network. First, second and third place winners receive $300, $200 and $100, respectively, and the winning entry is considered for publication in the Rambler.
Author speaks
Kannapolis ó The city of Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Cabarrus County Library, Kannapolis Branch, is sponsoring a free presentation by author Marion Willingham McKenney on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Kannapolis Train Station, 201 S. Main St., .
McKenney will discuss her self-publishing experiences with the audience as well as read some of her favorite passages from several of her books. The event will be educational and entertaining for all ages.
McKenney has been an author and illustrator of books for adults, young adults and children for more than 10 years and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.Her books include “Dem Church Folk,” “Looking Down from Heaven,” “Roosevelt Junior High,” “Cinnamon is Jealous,” “Sally Sue’s First Day of Kindergarten” and “The Twins” (Hailey and Bailey). McKenney and her husband live in Huntersville.
She will also read passages from her books for adults, young adults and children.
For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 704-920-4346.

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