Former resident wins short story prize

GRAND RAPIDS — Houghton County author Nancy Barr’s short story was recently selected as the Judges’ Choice Runner-up in the sixth annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest.

Sponsored by the Kent District Library, Schuler Books & Music, and Meijer, the contest drew almost 900 writers from across the state in four categories — 185 adults, 459 teens, 222 youth and 32 Spanish writers.

Barr’s story, “Peace,” is set in the Houghton-Hancock area and explores the long-term impact the Vietnam War had on one veteran and his family. The story will be published in an anthology featuring all of the winning authors later this year. The winning authors will be honored at an awards ceremony at Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 17.

Barr is also the author of the Page One mystery trilogy set in the Upper Peninsula and published by Arbutus Press. Her next project is turning “Peace” into a screenplay, which she would love to see filmed in the U.P.

A Rapid River High School graduate, she earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bay College and LSSU, respectively, and master’s and PhD degrees in rhetoric from Michigan Tech. She currently serves as the director of the Engineering Communications Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University, where she teaches engineers best practices in communicating their work to a wide range of audiences.

Although born elsewhere, Barr considers herself a Yooper, having thrived through three-and-a-half decades of winters, 14 of them in the Keweenaw Peninsula. She lives with her family in the Houghton area where she enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, and, of course, reading and writing.