2018 Biennial Vinnie Ream Medal Awards



Concetta Ciccozzi Doucette | “Inside a Keyhole Looking Out!” (fiction)

Concetta DoucetteConcetta Ciccozzi Doucette, an award-winning poet and fiction writer, is a letters life member-at-large who lives in Connecticut. She is listed in “A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers.”

One of her stories is featured in Little, Brown and Company’s “Family Read-Aloud Holiday Treasury.” Her NLAPW 2016 Biennial letters short-fiction prize winner, “The Chicken Feet Society of One,” is being circulated at the Enes Community Center to encourage attendees to form a memoir sharing group. 

Doucette’s literary pieces have found placement in journals, anthologies, international magazines, Sunday newspaper supplements, and small-press specials. Currently, she is engaged in the editing, compilation, and publication of a fourth volume of memoirs by Ellington Senior Center members.


Mary K. “Mimi” Jackson | “Sympathy”

Mimi-JacksonMary “Mimi” Kimbrough Jackson, a native of Alabama, has had a distinguished career as teacher, composer, performer, and church musician. Her arrangements, sacred solos, and choral compositions have been published, performed, and recorded in the United States, Europe, and Asia. 

Jackson has been an organist and choir director in numerous churches in Alabama and served as chorus master of Opera Birmingham for many years. There are currently two recordings of arrangements and original music for voice and piano available from Arabesque records.

Among her awards are a Presidential Citation from the Alabama Federated Music Clubs, an Opera Birmingham Star, Distinguished Alumni recognition from Birmingham-Southern College, and the Apolinsky Award for outstanding service to the Alabama Symphony from the Symphony Volunteers. She has been a member of the Birmingham Branch for more than 20 years.


Dorothy Kamm | “Birds of Florida”

Dorothy-KammDorothy Kamm, member-at-large from Port St. Lucie, Florida, has been an art member since 1989 and a letters member since 1993. She is an award-winning author who has written four books, dozens of articles, and poetry.

Kamm received a bachelor of fine arts degree with university honors and with honors in English from Northern Illinois University, and a master’s of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has won numerous state and national awards for her poetry, articles, and books in competitions sponsored by NLAPW.

Kamm also is a talented artist who works in a variety of mediums. She paints on paper and canvas with watercolors and oil paints, and on porcelain with china paint, and she creates beaded jewelry. Kamm’s artwork is notable for its radiating color and striking hues.


Shirley Wyrick | “Free Flow” (sculptures)

Shirley-WyrickA longtime Iowa City resident and a member of the Iowa City Branch, Shirley Wyrick has shown her artwork in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her major cast and fabricated metal/multimedia sculptures are located in Des Moines at the State of Iowa Historical Building, the former residence of Sigurd and Ann Anderson, and Regency West Office Park; and in Iowa City at the Johnson County Administration Building, the Levitt Center for University Advancement, the Blank Honors Center, and the C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory Building. Her master’s and master of fine art degrees, both in art, are from the University of Iowa.

Wyrick is the originator of an extensive series of “Needle Drawings,” named for the creative process she uses to create them. These drawings, as well as those in charcoal, pastel, and mixed media, have been widely shown and collected. She has been described as a “lateral thinker,” a person who sees connections between unlikely sources.



“Free Flow” is 8.5 feet high, including a 12-inch platform under the bronzes and the water feature.

Other Vinnie Ream Winners


Second Place

Nancy Nesvik, “Sew Many Possibilities”

Third Place

Barbara Paul Selby, “Woman”

Works of Distinction

Francesca Tabor-Miolla (mixed media), “Obsessive Compulsion”

Melissa Woodburn (fine art), “Before Words Form”



Second Place (poetry)

Karen McAferty Morris, “Elemental”

Third Place (memoir)

Cia Chester McKoy, “Poking Chocolates & Other Rude Habits (en route to the Sweet Life)”

Honorable Mentions for Fiction

Sara Baker (novel), “Secrets at Dillehay Crossing”

JoAnn Hinrichs, pen name Jody Glittenberg (historical fiction), “The Promise Seed: Saving Mother Earth”

Brenda Layman (short story), “Kentucky Wonder Beans”

Margaret Lukas (fiction), “River People”

Catherine A. Witek (historical novel), “The Trial of Misella Cross”

Honorable Mentions for Nonfiction

Diane Chambers (memoir), “Fragile Minds: Encountering Mental Illness, An Advocate’s Story”

Karen Foresti Hempson (nonfiction), “The Immigrant Healer, The Story of Giovannina Ruggiero Foresti”

Judy Madsen Johnson (nonfiction), “A Memoir, The Journey Home”

Kathleen Langan (memoir), “Checking My Rear View Mirror: 90 Plus Years of Memories”

Connie Spittler (nonfiction), “Rock of Ages”

Honorable Mentions for Poetry

Barbara Ehrentreu, “You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal — Poems of Loss”

Alice G. Eby Hall, “Poetic Prophetic Biographies”

Linda Mohr, “The Voice Within”

JoAnna O’Keefe, “A Deeper Place”

Pat Underwood, “Wild Flowers”



Second Place

Elaine Erickson, “New Horizons” (for string orchestra & piano)

Third Place

Mary K. (Mimi) Jackson, “The Slave’s Complaint”



Second Place

Sandy Huff, “Biltmore”