Reading Frenzy picks July 4th writing contest winners

Theresa Samek, a 34-year-old Elk River woman, has won the grand prize in Reading Frenzy’s 4th of July essay contest.

She wrote a short story titled, “That Sees Beyond the Years,” a creative futuristic story set in 2055 about a 93-year-old man who was on life support after a stroke.

The piece was the winner of the adult portion of the contest (18 years of age and older), and entered into a grand prize drawing that she won. Samek will get a personalized tour by Jody Lind-Anderson, publicist, Adventure Publications, a publishing company in Cambridge.

In her story, a  musical assisted therapy coach tries to get a response from a gentleman, who turned 18 the day after Sept. 11. When the coach plays patriotic music like “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the 93-year-old man wakes up from his coma.

For winning first prize, Samek won a one-on-one mentoring session with published author, Craig Yelle. She also won a book on writing written by Stephen King.

Hank Strandberg, a 19-year-old Elk River man, took second place in the adult division. He wrote “Why I Love America,” a short non-fiction piece about the virtues of living in America:

Trystan Daley, 6, was the winner of the 11 and under division.  He wrote an essay titled,  “About My Dad,” a short story about how he missed his dad when he served in Afghanistan for a year.

Katelyn Nutt, 14, won the 12- to 17-year-old division with her poem titled, “Nightmares,” a free-verse poem on someone living through Pearl Harbor.