Barnhill Prize for Creative Nonfiction

$1,550 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 22 people in 2 months
In 2010, a little idea for sharing essays on childhood got a big boost when Anne Clinard Barnhill submitted "Winter Solstice " to an unknown fellow West Virginian. I wanted to pursue the idea there is a lot to say about how our early experiences shape the world. Anne later sent "Melungeons and Mystery ," as well as "Staying." It is because of Anne's belief in Essays on a West Virginia Childhood that the project became something so much bigger, an online literary journal that publishes writers from coast to coast in the USA and beyond (Longridge Review ).

The Barnhill Prize honors Anne's generous spirit of support for all who love to read and write; her lifelong empathy with those who mine their childhood experience to understand themselves now; the natural vulnerability in her compelling prose and poetry; and her boundless generosity in sharing her writing passions with the world.

Gifts to this campaign will benefit writers of Creative Nonfiction (essays and memoir) by establishing an annual prize for excellence fulfilling our mission: To present the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over a lifespan.

Our preliminary goal for 2019 is $2,500. These funds will support a $500 cash prize, as well as provide an honorarium for an outside essay judge.

Any additional funds will be preserved to sustain the prize over time. Accounting for funds will be provided annually. 

Unless requesting anonymity, all donors will be recognized on a unique page on our website.

One person truly can change the world for the better. Anne is one of those people who has made a difference, who has multiplied her own blessings and made other people's lives more creative, more rewarding, and more joyful by sharing her life so freely. I can think of no finer person for whom to name the Longridge Review annual prize.

Thank you for honoring Anne, and for supporting Creative Nonfiction!
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Hi, everyone --

I wanted to give a quick update. Our editorial team has been working hard to publish the Winter edition of Longridge Review, and now that is done.

We took a step back to think about what we want to do next for the Barnhill Prize process. Under our traditional yearly schedule we would be accepting submissions for our Spring edition beginning in April. That takes a lot of time and energy we feel would be better spent on getting the prize out of idea land and into reality.

As such, we will not do our usual Spring edition but instead write some craft blogs, possibly run Anne's essays on childhood, approach some judge candidates, pencil out the timeline for the contest, and keep fundraising and building awareness of this work. We want to keep Longridge Review visible, but in a slightly different way so we can work on this new project.

We will pick up our regular schedule in the Fall.

Many thanks to you all for your participation and support! I will keep in touch.

Elizabeth Gaucher
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"Coal, Baby," is Anne's poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press in 2012. I ordered a copy back then, and then lost it in a move. I recently re-ordered it and am having the most wonderful time reading it all the way through for the first time.

My favorite part is how different these poems are from the voice that "spoke" about Tudor England. There is an edginess here that comes from an authentic awareness of Appalachia and coal culture. There is also beauty. From the poem "The Angel of Appalachia Speaks":

Awaken the trees.
Call the clouds to collect themselves
and march the mountains to the sea.

Gather starbuds.
Shepherd every skittering thing---
beetle, grub, spider, snake---
all the crawling ones of the earth.
Lead them to water.

The poem goes on from there, but I wanted to share a few lines and encourage you to read more of Anne's poems. https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/coal-baby-by-anne-clinard-barnhill/

We are over our halfway fundraising mark, and I continue to launch asks into new places.

Thank you for supporting this effort!
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Hello, dear friends and fans of Anne --

I wanted to reach out and share that I have been prompted by Go Fund Me to withdraw the funds we have raised to date.

This DOES NOT mean we are through fundraising! We are about halfway to our goal, and I hope you will keep sharing this opportunity with people you think would like to be involved. In February I plan to make another appeal through Longridge Review.

This is my first time using this method of raising money, and so I am learning as I go. It appears to be an administrative protocol after a certain threshold is reached to ask people to withdraw the money. We are doing so well they are already predicting we will be short-timers on their platform, so this is a good thing!

Thank you all for your support and for your generous hearts.

I will keep a close watch on the accounting and if at any time you want to know what is happening with the money, just contact me.


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Today was a snow day where I live, and I re-read Anne's essay "Winter Solstice." I wanted to share the last lines, they are so lovely:

"That love of being alone found its best expression in midnight walks during winter, the moon casting an eerie glow to the entire world, the snow reflecting the light in loving response, Endymion to Diana in every pale snow pile. I would head out at what my mother called “the witching hour” and walk down the road until my nose got so cold it began to drip. The silence was palpable and soothing, the world muffled with a snowy blanket, soft as a baby’s comforter. I couldn’t have said it at the time, but what I experienced in those long winter walks belonged to the infinite–God, the imagination, time’s longing for itself–and those interludes gave me a hunger for the spiritual, an appetite that is only satisfied when I return to the mountains, those winding roads that lead to moments of mystery, found in the West Virginia hills."
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$1,550 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 22 people in 2 months
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