Paintings Spark Statewide Literary Contest

SEDGWICK — Come summer, Leslie Anderson works as a painter-for-hire.

The Sedgwick artist makes part of her living capturing people’s special places in oils and watercolor. While out on these “paint-your-view” gigs, other scenes catch her eye. These moments in time became the basis for a series of paintings and show at Handworks Gallery in Blue Hill in 2010.

Earlier this year, an Australian writer began sending Anderson short stories sparked by the coastal Maine paintings. The idea that her own visual piece could spur a literary work planted the seed for the first “Summer Stories Short Story Competition” co-sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and Shanti Arts Publishing & Design in Brunswick.

Anderson’s “Summer Stories” series of 26 oil paintings form the basis of the contest in which participants craft short stories triggered by the artwork.

Maine-based writers have until March 1 to submit their 5,000-word-max stories. They can view all the “Summer Stories” paintings at

Waterville writer Ron Currie Jr., author of the acclaimed novels “God Is Dead” and “Everything Matters!” will judge the entries. The results will be announced on May 15.

As a prize, the winning writers’ short stories will be published with the paintings in a book due out next fall.

For contest details, call 228-8263 or visit

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]