Blue Institute takes interdisciplinary actions for resilient oceans & waters.
Since 2018 the Blue Institute has held the Words on Water writing contest with categories in poetry, prose, and playwriting. Words on Water showcases our relationships with water and water's cultural relevance in our lives. Sometimes the observations and experiences are straightforward, other times they are subtle and opaque highlighting the depth and breath therein.
This Valentine's share your love of water by wading into "Words on Water."
The theme for the contest is water, the length of submissions can be no longer than nine pages each, and all writings must be appropriate for all ages. The call out for the 5Th anniversary submissions is now open and information is below.
Kindly consider a donation to support this wonderful program - we would like to publish a complete anthology in October 2023 and appreciate your assistance.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS “Words on Water”
In honor of World Ocean’s Day 2023, the Blue Institute is proud to announce its annual Call for Submissions for “Words on Water,” a Poetry, Prose and Playwriting Competition with an “open-ended theme of water.”
* Submission Deadline is extended to Valentine's Day February 14th, 2023
Both electronic and snail mail submissions will be accepted. A panel of jurors from the local, regional, and international writing-arts community will anonymously review and select the Finalists in each category. Winners announced on World Water Day in March, 2023.
1) Writers may submit only one work in each category – use size 12 Times New Roman font, with one- inch margins.
2) All work must be original, unpublished, and not previously produced.
3) All work must be appropriate for an audience of all ages.
4) Each submission must have a Cover Page with:
• Title of Work
• Author’s Full Name, mailing address, telephone number and email (if they have one)
• K-12 Students must also identify their school
5) Author’s name contact information and Title appears only on the Cover Page.
6) Each submission may be a maximum of 9 pages plus a Cover Page.
7) Poetry can be written in any poetic style.
8) Prose can be fiction or non-fiction.
9) Plays are limited to four characters or less – set is Black Box Theater Style only.
The Finalists & Winners will be read/performed at a future date and their works may also be published on the Blue Institute’s Website, may be published/recorded in a Blue Institute World Oceans Day Anthology, and may be read/performed in a Climate Week Blue event or in the upcoming Blue Institute’s 2023 World Oceans Day Festival. Author’s retain all rights other than specified here.
PRIZES: First prize in each category and grouping is a $100 bookstore gift card, Second Prize in each category and grouping is a $50 bookstore gift card.
DUE DATEs: Both electronic and snail mail submissions are due Wednesday December 28th, 2022,
Submission Fee: Each Adult submission is a $10 suggested donation -
(Students in K-12 no donation suggested – please identify your school)
• Online payment
• Postal Mail payment by Check or Money Order (Do Not Send Cash)
• Make Checks Payable to “Blue Institute”
SUBMISSION METHOD: via email or postal mail.
Email Submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal Mail to: Blue Institute, P.O. Box 333, Harwich Port, MA, 02646 USA
Office: +1 508.939.3435
I live in the ocean
Diving right in to the salty, icy, refreshing water
No matter how cold it may be
I live in waves
Jumping through them
Riding with them
Crashing into the sand with a splat!
Any way you do it you smile
I live in swimming
Seeing how far we can go
Going down, down to touch the bottom
I live in towels
Coming out for a quick break
Then running back in
I live in games
Like get yourself sandy then wash off
Or faceplant into the water
I live in friends
Running in with me
Embracing the freezing water
I live in bathing suits
Hugging my skin
Getting wet right along with me
I live in the ocean
My place where I am free
My escape from life
World Oceans Day is an annual global event organized by the United Nations that brings together writers, scientists, visual artists, academics, climate entrepreneurs, students, policy makers, community organizations and many others to commemorate the importance of our oceans.
On Saturday June 5th, 2021 Blue Institute held a virtual festival as part of the UN's annual June 8th World Oceans Day festivities. Festival Director Rick Wilson showcased three years of Prize Winning excerpts from many of the annual "Words on Water" writing contest winners for their water themed poetry, prose, and playwriting. Their performances and readings, and host writer talk-backs were recorded.
You can find the June 5th 2021 recording on YouTube HERE.
Lee Roscoe’s plays have been seen at such as the Living Theatre, NYC, the Provincetown Theatre, and Boston Playwright’s Theater. They include Impossible? about American tyranny, changed from on onstage premier to virtual due to Covid and viewed online by 1,000 people at Eventide Theater, and The Mooncusser’s Tale, broadcast on WOMR and available in its archive. (Both supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, towns of Brewster and Dennis.)
Lee is a former Equity actress who has appeared at WHAT, (where the Globe called her work “brilliant”), the Provincetown Theater, and elsewhere on Cape, and who worked off-Broadway and in independent films. (See The Cinema of Norman Mailer for her account of the latter.) She’s also an awarded environmentalist, environmental educator, a Woods Hole Ocean Science journalism fellow, and author of Dreaming Monomoy’s Past, Walking its Present (a subjective and objective account of the interacting nature and history of a typical coastal area.). She invented the first multi-use modular unstructured clothing in the U.S. featured in Life magazine, New York magazine, etc. and in her book Wrap Yourself a Designer Dress. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals. She is a long time journalist, arts, environment, news, history, whose pieces have appeared in Cape newspapers and magazines and in regional and national publications.
UPCOMING: Plays: a set of online short plays, supported by the MCC with gratitude and with technology by Janet Murphy Robertson and Geof Newton. Publications: Look for her upcoming book on Wampanoag Arts and Artisans, and in The Journal of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society; a piece on native and settler interaction in Eastham.
Clyde Watson is a poet, children’s book author, and composer. She has published over 14 books for children, and written theatrical scripts on commission for The Christmas Revels, the Summer Revels, and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Her poetry has appeared in Pastoral Magazine and many anthologies. She is a member of the Author’s Guild of America, which hosts her website www.clydewatson.com.
She lives in Etna NH and is big on hiking, family, nature photography, vegetable gardening, cooking, and eating.
John is a PhD candidate and award-winning researcher at Stony Brook University in New York where his work primarily focuses on finance, economics, and management of marine protected areas. His research aims to enhance the conservation efforts of wildlife sanctuaries, marine national parks, and other marine protected areas around the world, with collaborations so far across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. He has also collaborated with several other research projects across marine conservation, ecology, and environmental economics in the Northeast and internationally. John is also a technical specialist with the Conservation Finance Alliance, an NGO hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he is part of the team developing the investment plan for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs and works with the Marine & Coastal Finance Working Group. He has published in several scientific journals and contributed to many science communication outlets including Story Collider, The World Ocean Observatory, MPA News, Medium, and Science Appliance.
John Graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine where he majored in Economics and Environmental Studies, with a minor and Earth and Oceanographic Sciences. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and you can usually find him wearing a pair of soccer cleats, climbing shoes, or ski boots.
Personal website: www.johnbohorquez.com
June Calender was encouraged to write in high school, especially after winning a state-wide essay contest. After college, as a new mother, her first national publication was in Baby Talk. Soon after, she had an article on snow shoveling in Yankee Magazine. Her life took an exciting turn when she was accepted at the O’Neill Playwright’s annual conference. She moved to NYC where she studied at the Berghof Studio, New Dramatists, and saw several productions of her plays produced off-Broadway. And off-off-Broadway. As June likes to say, as far off as Alaska. June has also been invited to speak at two national playwrights conferences.
June has travelled internationally and published Phantom Voices in Tibet in 2003. Since moving to Cape Cod, her plays have been performed by Cape Cod Community College. Another was produced in Sandwich, last year, and yet another will be Zoom-produced by Eventide Arts in June. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various literary journals. For the past ten years she has taught writing at the Academy for Lifelong Learning and edited its annual anthology, Reflections. As part of Uncommon Threads, an art quilt group, her quilts have been displayed in various local venues on Cape Cod. Quilting of all sorts is an engrossing hobby for June, and her novel, The Friendship Quilts, will be published later this year.
Lisa Forte-Doyle entered the "family business" of education (after her father and before her son) after realizing that her love of English had taken over my love of Italian singing. After studying classical voice in both New York and Italy, she decided to devote herself to a degree in English from Lehman College, CUNY, graduating Summa Cum Laude. After marrying Tim from Massachusetts, she attended Tufts University on a full scholarship and earned both a Master's in English and a Master's in Teaching English. She taught at Chatham High for 22 years and has been happily teaching at Monomoy since its opening. She and her husband have two fantastic and accomplished sons. Lisa was born, raised, and educated in the Bronx but has been living on Cape Cod for 29 years. She loves teaching creative writing, and one of her goals is to publish a book of my poetry, as she has seven journals filled with writing. She is especially proud that several of her former writing students are now published authors and teachers.
John Dennis Anderson holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Communication Studies from Baylor University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. A native of Texas, he moved to South Wellfleet in 2016 after retiring from teaching Communication and Performance Studies for 27 years at Emerson College in Boston. He performs nationally in his one-person shows as authors Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Robert Frost, and others. His introductory book on Faulkner was published by Greenwood Press in 2007. The National Communication Association presented him with the Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance in 2013 and the Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies. His website is jdanderson.org
Tom was born with a twin on July 16, 1957 to a 25-year-old farmgirl/graduate of Iowa state and a 25-year-old Navy pilot/son of the Western Auto store owner in Muscatine, Iowa. His parents married for love and children, so they had kids in ten years. Always a voracious reader from a young age, Tom haunted the public library. In grade school, he learned to diagram sentences; in eleventh grade, he took Rose Gilbert’s College Prep English class and learned structured writing. Next was Miss Jean O’Brien’s A.P. English class. He could not afford the A.P. test $27 entrance fee so Miss O’Brien hired him to clean up her garden to earn the $27. He thought he could get a 2 on the test. He got a 5, indicating advanced mastery. Miss O’Brien knew.
He met Jennifer, his wife of 41 years, at a collegiate crew regatta, as they both rowed. They married after college, had four children, and, in the middle of it, surfing become his passion. He got pretty good but never great, yet has surfed California, Hawaii, Mexico, Bali, Australia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Peru. Forty-five years after his AP English class, he has started writing earnestly and plans to continue writing as his second vocation. He is deeply grateful to Blue Institute for being his first award-winning accolade..
Sara Letourneau is a poet as well as a freelance editor, literary coach, and workshop instructor at Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. Her editing work focuses on speculative fiction, YA fiction, literary fiction, memoir, and prescriptive nonfiction. Her poetry has received first place in the Blue Institute’s 2020 Words on Water Contest and appeared in Mass Poetry’s Poem of the Moment, Constellations, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, Soul-Lit, Amethyst Review, The Avocet, The Aurorean, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Golden Walkman Magazine, among others. She lives in suburban Massachusetts but also frequents Cape Cod and southern New Hampshire; and she enjoys reading, drinking tea, cooking and baking, and walking trails at parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Upcoming Projects, Publications, or Performances
Sara has a new poem coming out this summer in the upcoming Cape Cod anthology, From the Farther Shore: Discovering Cape Cod & the Islands Through Poetry. She also reads her work at local and online open mic nights, live streams her own quarterly poetry readings on Facebook, and is developing journaling and poetry-writing workshops that will happen online later in 2021. For more information about her poetry and upcoming events, sign up for her email newsletter or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Social Media and Websites
Sign up for her monthly newsletter: https://heartofthestoryeditorial.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Writer website: https://saraletourneauwriter.com/
Nicholas Walsh grew up in Westford, Massachusetts, although he spent his summers on Cape Cod where he learned to swim and developed a deep love of the ocean. He graduated Fairfield University with a degree in Marketing and Psychology, and spent his senior year living in a house near the beach. Now a Paid Search Strategist at a digital marketing agency in Boston, Nicholas still nurtures his passion for creative writing, classic literature, and the ocean. Blue Institute is proud to have acknowledged and published this debut piece, and we look forward to more of Nicholas’ words in the future.
Social Media and Websites
Anna is a PhD candidate in political economy in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, researching emerging technologies and inclusive industrial policy. She has worked with grassroots innovators across 60+ countries to foster creative problem-solving and sustainable development. She is a member of the Catalyze Playwriting Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her plays about science and technology have been performed at the Central Square Theater, MIT, the Massachusetts Democratic Socialists of America coffeehouse, the Arisia convention, and the quadrennial Dutch hacker camping convention. Born and raised in San Francisco, Anna is passionate about sea cliffs, clever technologies, and practical solutions for inequality.
Context and Introduction
The inspiration for this play came in equal parts from Sy Montgomery’s fabulous book The Soul of an Octopus, and a heartwarming but underattended panel on degrowth hosted by the Major Group for Children and Youth at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development. This confluence led me to ponder exciting questions like, what would it take for octopuses, who are highly intelligent but antisocial, to stop eating each other and build a society? Relatedly, what would it take for humans to shift our socioeconomic paradigm and globally cooperate on climate change? Political science is complicated, so naturally I turned to science fiction.
Social Media and Websites
New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/41846/anna-waldman-brown
Brittney R. Lind, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice at Fash Counseling in Bolingbrook, IL. She specializes in providing therapy to adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders. Brittney has been an avid reader and writer of poetry since childhood. Her poetry and essays have been published in Harvard College Tuesday Magazine. Brittney’s favorite poets include Wislawa Szymborska, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Danez Smith. As a therapist, her primary influences include Irvin Yalom, Marsha Linehan, and Heinz Kohut. Brittney lives with her husband, Joseph Ayers, and is immensely fortunate to be part of the life of her stepson, Xander.
Candace Perry (playwright/director)is a writer, teacher, social worker, and peace and justice activist living on Cape Cod, MA. In 2020 she was named Eventide Theater’s Playwrights ETC Playwright-in-Residence. Past awards from Cape theaters include being the Provincetown Theatre’s commissioned playwright for the Four Square Theater Collaborative, the Eventide Arts Kaplan Prize Winner. More than forty of her short plays have been produced, and many have been included in competitive festivals, including the Provincetown Playwrights’ Festivals, Boston Theater Marathon, Heartland Theatre Company’s Ten-Minute Play Competition, and the International Dublin Gay Theater Festival. During the Covid-19 pandemic, a dozen of Candace’s short plays have been filmed or produced on Zoom; links to viewing are available on her website, http://www.candaceperryplaywright.info/index.html
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and five books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.
Gina Faldetta is a former Cape resident, currently based in New York City. She writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in Do It! Try It!, a 2018 group exhibition in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is working on her first full-length novel.
Context and Introduction:
In her short story “Where There’s Seals,” Gina Faldetta explores the relationship between humans and the natural world around us, specifically the ocean. In conversations about the increased shark and seal populations in the waters of the Cape, the heightened risk for swimmers, and the call for a cull, what role do humans play? What role should we play? And when it comes to the ocean and our activities in it, who is the predator and who is the prey?
Beckett is a second grader in Oakland, California. He can get very focused on his passions, but it is also necessary for him to have fun with whatever he’s doing, even better if he can share that fun with friends. When near a body of water (ocean, pond, creek, puddle), it is almost inevitable that Beckett will find a way to submerge himself. He formed an appreciation for rhyming before he had much of a vocabulary: making up words to fit the rhymes of songs he had heard so he could repeat the sounds himself. Beckett is an avid reader, and is particularly enthusiastic about finishing a book series as quickly as he can. Producing poetry has been more of an occasional project for him, at least so far. When Beckett writes poems, however, the words come to him fast! His family is always wondering what will bring out his next burst of inspiration.
When I was asked to write a poem about water, I thought about water in the air, clouds and the ocean. I thought about the water that is inside all of us. I think water deserves to be proud because it is famous and everywhere. I go swimming once a week and surfing at least once a month - I’d like to go more but this amount is pretty good.
The Words on Water Student Winners from all years will have a reading/performance festival within the upcoming Climate Week Blue in October 2022
Emily Golden is a Seattle native who is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. She splits her time between playwriting, screenwriting, and fiction. Her plays have been produced all over the country including Bethany Sees the Stars, which was included as part of Theatre 33's Summer of New Plays, Basic Accounting, which was part of Theatre Cedar Rapid's 2020 Underground New Play Festival and awarded runner up for best script, and most recently, Lobstermen in Love which was produced by Susquehanna University as part of their 2021 season. Although currently living in landlocked Iowa, she will always consider the shores of the Pacific Northwest home.
You can read Rick's bio here
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