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Fountain poet earns several new awards for her writing


Last updated 11/8/2022 at 1:51pm | View PDF

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Julianza (Julie) Shavin

Fountain's own Julianza (Julie) Shavin, whose poems we often publish and who now contributes the "Wag of the Week" column, has won more major national writing awards recently. She placed first in an ekphrastic (writing based on visual art) contest sponsored by the League of Minnesota Poets, with a piece based on photography. She also placed third in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies' BlackBerry Peach competition, for which authors submit audio of four poems, along with text, performing at the annual NFSPS convention, which has been virtual the last few years. The most coveted contest (NFSPS Founders Award) merited her second place, along with an honorable mention (329 poems entered). She also garnered two second-place awards from the Poetry Society of Texas and honorable mentions from Indiana. Most recently, she placed first in the Illinois contest, placing third in two others.

Her essay "Haul Wood, Chop Water," which draws upon the Fountain landscape she moved to in 2017, just east of Link and Ermel, was published by Twenty Bellows Literary Magazine, and MiddleCreek Press included her poems in The Mountain anthology, with a photograph accepted for its We are the West anthology. In June, she was a panelist for "Words on the Western Wind," sponsored by the Colorado Poets Center. Shavin, who was selected as Performance Poet and Page Poet of the Year by the Pikes Peak Arts Council (2011/2012), won the national Mark Fischer Prize in 2016 with her poem "InSide Outside In," about her time spent on the far eastern plains of Rush, Colorado.

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Julie Shavin's "editing staff" - consisting of rescue dogs Halo, Judah and Willow- takes a break. Shavin considers her animal rescue work her "other poetry."

Shavin, who has written a poem a day since June 2019, stresses that the real value of submitting to literary magazines and contests lies in the assiduous editing that takes place beforehand, hopefully leading to more beautifully-crafted works. "A good poem is the real win," she says, adding that "strokes are nice, but they are not the grail." Many of the poems published in this newspaper she considers drafts, because "editing to my final satisfaction can take years, and I'm no spring chicken, but rather, nearly cooked," adding, "I once found JUST the right word 10 years after a poem came out in my first collection."

Shavin's fifth book, Elusive Solace, includes 48 photographs/other artwork, mainly drawing upon the beauty of Fountain, and surrounding areas as well. She works for FutureCycle Press (Athens, GA) as Assistant Editor, Proofreader and Production Consultant. You can find her on the staff page at She also freelances editing and proofing of many genres: short story, novel, poetry and memoir. If you'd like help bringing your writing project to fruition, information about The National Federation of State Poetry Societies, or suggestions on becoming published, please contact her at [email protected] Though her local writing group, Fountain Pens, is still on hiatus due to COVID, she'd love to hear from you.


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