Peace Corps Writers
Where Returned
Peace Corps Volunteers
write about their world

July 2005

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In This Issue has links to the new articles in this issue of Peace Corps Writers.

Resources has the Bibliography of Peace Corps Writers and other resources for both readers and writers.

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The 2005 Award Winners —
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2005 Peace Corps Writers Awards.

Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award
The Importance of Being Famous: Behind the Scenes of the Celebrity-Industrial Complex
by Maureen Orth
     (Colombia 1964–66)
This Is Not Civilization Maria Thomas Fiction Award
This Is Not Civilization
by Robert Rosenberg
     (Kyrgyzstan 1994–96)
Award for Best Poetry Book
The Way They Say Yes Here
by Jacqueline Lyons
     (Lesotho 1992–95)
Award for Best Travel Writing
Breaking the Limit:
One Woman’s Motorcycle Journey Through North America

by Karen Larsen
     (Bulgaria 1996–98)

Award for Best Children’s Writing
The Biggest Soap
by Carole Lexa Schaefer
     (Micronesia 1967–69)
Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award
“The Things I Gave Her”
by Lisa Kahn Schnell
     (Ghana 1998–2000)
Winners receive a special citation and cash awards from Peace Corps Writers, an Associate Member of the National Peace Corps Association. Our congratulations to all the winners and all the RPCVs who published books in 2005.

Books by RPCV writers to be featured at fund raiser
Over 35 RPCV authors have already donated signed copies of their books to be auctioned off at the first annual Peace Corps Fund “Living a Life of Service” celebration. The celebration will recognize RPCVs who in their careers as outstanding teachers in New York City have provided a domestic dividend to their Peace Corps service overseas. Caroline Kennedy is the Honorary Chair of this event taking place on September 29th at the historic Puck Building in New York City.
     A special feature of the evening will be international cuisine — food and wine from the five continents where Peace Corps Volunteeers have served.
     Contact Stacey Flanagan (Costa Rica 1994–97) at: if you:

  • Would like to nominate a “Peace Corps teacher” who taught or is teaching in Greater New York City.
  • Are an author who would like to donate one of your signed books for the auction.
  • Have a Peace Corps country artifact that you would like to donate for the auction.
  • Would like to purchase a ticket to attend

Check out the Peace Corps Fund at

Award Winning Essays
Over 40 RPCVs applied for the two writing scholarships to attend the international known and well respected non-fiction writing workshop at Goucher College. These scholarships were sponsored by Peace Corps Writers. According to the college, “selection was very difficult” and the two winners, both women, represent some of the best writing that is being done by RPCV writers.
     Winner Melissa Moses (Lesotho 2002–04) is from Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. She was an education Volunteer in Africa. Working, she said, “with wonderful and dedicated early childhood teachers.”
    While not familiar with our website, Melissa learned about the Peace Corps Writers scholarship from an announcement in the Peace Corps’ Hotline. “I sent in a story that was very personal, describing my feelings of vulnerability. While I loved my experience in Lesotho, there were definitely periods when I didn’t quite know how I was going to make it through the day.”
     The second winner was Kathleen Moore (Ethiopia 1964–66). Kathleen is an old friend of our website. She submitted a section of her manuscript about her experiences in a small village in Ethiopia, entitled “Seasons.” Kathleen writes, “It is about the rain pounding on the tin roof of our classroom, the students taking shelter and singing until the rain stopped, and a little boy who never came to school but at 8 years old was the poet laureate of Emdeber. The essay is also about the festival Meskal and prayers and religion and how much alike were my religious upbringing and that of the Guragi people in Emdeber.”
     Both women sent us their winning essays to share with our readers and we wish them a productive and (hopefully cool) time in Baltimore, Maryland on the beautiful campus of Goucher College.
     And, yes, we want to continue this scholarship for RPCV writers to attend the Goucher Nonfiction Summer Writing Workshop. It all depends on whether we can raise the money to make the scholarship possible. And in that regard, we thank all the members of the Writers & Readers Roundtable who over the years continue to support the work of Peace Corps Writers .

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