American Icon

In past summers, Pikes Peak Writers presented the literary version of American Idol™, complete with celebrity judges and fabulous prizes.

American Icon LogoThe Smokin’ Hotness of American Icon 6

By Barb Dyess

Were you one of the 19 contestants who chose to stand up with knocking knees before an audience and read aloud from your written work for two whole minutes—and then endure comments given by three professionals in the writing business? If so, kudos to you!

Our judges, Trai Cartwright, Ange Tysdal, and Carolyn Sobczak, offered their impressions with big-hearted and upbeat doses of skill, intelligence, and insight. All three judges reported later that they were very pleased with the quality of work seen at Icon. “And now I want to know: what about the firewood?”  “The internal life of men is always interesting…” “Multi-Dimensional is going to be everywhere in the next few years. I mean, it is going to be hot.” “Cannibalism is hard to sell. People don’t like to read about eating other people, but personally…I love it!”  “Easily-read sentences mean the writing is good.”

2010 American Icon Judges

2010 American Icon Judges

Emcee Jodi Anderson offered her usual quirky charm, and M.B. Partlow’s cowbell kept the contestants on schedule. The range of material covered multiple genres; the range of the writers was even more diverse. An added bonus was that about one-third of the readers—several of whom won prizes for their jaw-dropping talent—were younger writers. “Jumping right into the story/action gives you a ton of leeway; to go forward in thought, to go back in remembering.”  “It’s mimetic for me.”  “Transcendence is memoir, which also needs a ‘story conceit.’”  “Your descriptions are kind of Virginia Woolf-y…”

2010 American Icon Readers

2010 American Icon Readers

Lynde Iozzo, an English teacher and first-time contestant, was thrilled to “get comments live and in-person” since she lives in a remote locale and has limited access to critiquing. Dylan Thompson thought the judges were “a little too nice,” and wanted to hear more of what was wrong with his work.  A happy Anita Romero said it was “an incredible difference” from her Icon feedback of four years ago.  “You write physicality very well!”  “Dystopian worlds fascinate me…” “Intriguing logline…loved your Voice…pacing is just right.”  “I don’t mind a slow build, if the voice intrigues me and the writing is good.”  While the judges conferred, departing PPW President Ron Heimbecher was honored for his many contributions to the organization.

The winning contestants then scored big in generous prizes, including a free night’s hotel stay, gift certificates, a” paid admission to Mile High Con, and coveted professional critiques.

American Icon 6 Winners

  • Audience Favorite:  Easy Street, Michael Shepherd
  • Best Overall:  Easy Street, Michael Shepherd
  • Best First Line and Best New Voice:   Inhale. Exhale., Michon Lartique
  • Best Use of Humor:  My So-Called Unlife, Lynde Iozzo
  • Best Opening Scene:  Apex Predator, Matt Bille
  • Most Promising Concept: Queen of Fly Island, Chris Kobayashi
  • Best Forward-Looking Concept:  The Marc-Paul View, John Lewis
  • Best Logline:  Flight, Kaleena Kovach
  • Best Imagery: The Things We Leave Behind, Mandy Houk
  • Best Voice and Title:  Anonymous Pranks the Boards, Dylan P. Thompson
  • Best Showmanship:  Angel King, Oliver Brainerd
2010 American Icon Winners

2010 American Icon Winners

Congratulations to all the winners!

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In the event of bad weather, we will follow the PPLD’s closure policy. Please check the PPLD web site for closure information.

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Please see our underage attendee policy that applies to all events hosted by Pikes Peak Writers.

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