Hours of creative thoughts put into words will payoff tonight at the fourth annual Central Peninsula Writers Night held at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center in Kenai.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. and hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served. The program will begin at 7 p.m.
Admission to the event is $20. Proceeds from the event are divided between Friends of the Library and the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. Door prizes will be given throughout the evening.
Maggie Tappana, information assistant for the center, said 83 submissions from 36 writers were entered in this year's event. Some writers entered as many as seven pieces to the selection committee.
"The number of submissions is fluctuating greatly, but the number of writers is growing," Tappana said, adding that the first Writers Night, held in 1998, drew in 19 writers.
"It's not a competition, more like a showcase," she said.
The genres showcased in this year's writing extravaganza include poetry, fiction, nonfiction, newspaper columns, children's stories and a puppet skit.
The selection committee, consisting of six judges, read each piece and chose writing samples based on the quality of the writing.
The group chose a varied group of 15 writers to read their works at the event.
The writers chosen range from high school student to adults and from beginners to seasoned writers who have been published. The group will read aloud their thoughts and emotions to eager listeners.
Soldotna resident Terri Burdick entered a rhyming puppet skit "Lily Lamb's Easter Hat," that she wrote more than 14 years ago when she found it difficult to find skits to perform.
She came up with the idea during the spring, so she wrote a skit with an Easter theme.
She said the inspiration came to her with little problem.
"I just kind of sat down and tried to come up with ideas," Burdick said.
She said the hardest part in writing for her was finding words to rhyme.
The skit is only one of two that Burdick has created. She performs them at her puppet shows she presents yearly at the summer reading program at Soldotna Public Library.
"I do it for the kids," Burdick said.
She said drama always interested her, but she has problems memorizing scripts.
"With puppets, you can really do lots of stuff behind the mask," she said. "When you're a puppeteer, you don't have to memorize lines."
She will read her script with puppets at the event.
Since entering her work, she said she has become interested in looking into publishing them.
"The wanting to do it has been there," she said. "Sometimes you need a catalyst to get you going."
Another first-timer to the event is Skyview High School senior Karli Kay.
Kay entered an untitled poem describing a stroll through a cemetery that she and another took.
"There is something about (cemeteries) I find interesting," Kay said.
The poem was one of many in her collection.
"I picked the five I thought had merit," she said.
The teen said she has been writing since third grade when, at a family gathering while everyone else was writing and she felt left out, she began the task that evolved into a talent.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been published in "Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans," "Through Sun and Shower" and in "Angst in Color," a book of poems by Skyview High School students.
Kay said she enjoys writing and does so when the need strikes.
Virginia Walters is another writer who expounds on subjects that interest her.
The essay she entered to be showcased is titled "Coming of Age."
An excerpt that explains the work reads as follows:
"I was reading a 'coming of age' novel the other day and it occurred to me that society has applied that label to the wrong end of life. The REAL Coming of age is somewhere between the time you receive the first invitation to join AARP and when you look into the mirror and see your mother."
Walters said she and the Central Peninsula Writers Group discussed the topic in a group.
"That topic comes up often," she said. "I guess we had all reached this plateau of things."
She said she wrote the essay in about a day and read it to the group. They urged her to enter it in the event, so she revised the it and submitted it.
This year is the second time she has entered, but this will be her first reading.
She also has been published in various magazines and local publications.
She said she is excited to read and be part of the event.
"I am excited, yes, because I know I am in pretty good company."
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