Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

The an­nual writ­ing con­test is Pasatiempo’s fa­vorite hol­i­day tra­di­tion. In this fes­tive is­sue, we present the best sto­ries, es­says, and po­ems sub­mit­ted to us, as judged by staff at The Santa Fe New Mex­i­can. Our win­ning writ­ers tell us their fears, hopes, and dreams, us­ing strong voices to an­nounce their de­sire for so­ci­ety to heal it­self of vi­o­lence and in­tol­er­ance and ex­press­ing what seems to be a uni­ver­sal long­ing for love and safety. The pieces writ­ten by chil­dren tell us that Christ­mas can be the time when these wishes are granted. On the cover is con­tribut­ing artist Matthew Mullins’ wa­ter­color and gouache Ursa Ma­jor, cour­tesy of Form & Con­cept.

Spe­cial thanks to the fol­low­ing artists and gal­leries for im­ages used in this is­sue: Jamie Kirk­land, Win­terowd Fine Art; Kat McIver, Santa Fe Clay; Will Clift and Phyl­lis Sloane, Ger­ald Pe­ters Gallery; Kath­leen McCloud and Gigi Mills, GF Con­tem­po­rary; Mokha Laget and Heather McGill, David Richard Gallery; Sam Scott, the Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe Mu­seum; Jonathan Kee­ton; Au­gust Muth; Carol Moth­ner, Nüart Gallery; Emmi White­horse, Chiaroscuro Con­tem­po­rary Art; Nicholas Her­rera, Evoke Con­tem­po­rary; Greg Jou­bert, Owen Con­tem­po­rary; Pe­ter Sark­isian; Joan Watts, Char­lotte Jack­son Fine Art; Lucy Lyon, Lew Allen Gal­leries.

This has been a year of up­heaval. The two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties ap­pear to be frac­tur­ing as they bat­tle for power in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., while fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties seem to be en­gaged in a cul­ture war, the likes of which the United States hasn’t seen since the 1960s. Race, women’s rights, gen­der iden­tity, mass vi­o­lence, and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion are just a few of the hot-but­ton top­ics that more and more of us are en­gag­ing with, in ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion and on our so­cial me­dia feeds.

Sto­ries sub­mit­ted to Pasatiempo’s an­nual writ­ing con­test — the win­ners of which are pub­lished in these pages — wres­tled with many of these themes ei­ther overtly or obliquely. Place was an im­por­tant theme for many of our adult writ­ers this year in the non­fic­tion cat­e­gory, whether the sub­ject was world travel or a home­town. Love is al­ways a pop­u­lar topic among our fic­tion writ­ers, and this year it was of­ten an­chored in the sur­real or steeped in the dystopian. The win­ning po­ems are es­pe­cially ac­com­plished and finely wrought, with em­pow­ered women — and a fair amount of sass — in the spot­light.

The youngest prose writ­ers sub­mit­ted Christ­mas­themed sto­ries full of hope, while teenagers’ sto­ries dealt largely with fear, loss, and the quest for com­fort in per­ilous times. Even so, that thread of hope runs through those pieces, too. Chil­dren and teenagers wrote po­ems about self-em­pow­er­ment in var­i­ous forms — some earnest and some cyn­i­cal — in­clud­ing ac­cep­tance of dif­fer­ence, in­ter­est in the nat­u­ral world, and an over­all con­cern for hu­man­ity. Some teen writ­ers have been en­ter­ing the con­test ev­ery year since they were chil­dren. The edi­tors, re­porters, and de­sign­ers at Pasatiempo and The Santa Fe New Mex­i­can who vol­un­teer to judge the con­test love to see their writ­ing grow.

We in­vite you to take your time with these sto­ries writ­ten by your fel­low Santa Feans this week­end. And we hope you con­sider en­ter­ing next year.

Pasatiempo thanks lo­cal busi­nesses and ven­dors for gen­er­ously do­nat­ing prizes to the win­ners: Bee Hive Books, Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts, Con­nerly Chi­ro­prac­tic, Acupunc­ture, & Phys­i­cal Medicine Group, Counter In­tel­li­gence, De­sign Ware­house, Ecco Ge­lato and Espresso, Har­rell House Bug Mu­seum, Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter, Moon Rab­bit Toys, Op.Cit Books, Per­for­mance Santa Fe, Santa Fe Bar & Grill, The Santa Fe New Mex­i­can, Santa Fe Pens, Sweet­wa­ter Har­vest Kitchen, and Toy­opo­lis.

Happy hol­i­days!

Kath­leen McCloud: Light Years, 2017, oil on can­vas, cour­tesy GF Con­tem­po­rary

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