The competition was the idea of Peggy Brown Thorsen, who wrote and published her books for friends and family. In the summer of 2020, when the world was four months into the COVID pandemic, Peggy considered, “With all this extra time on our hands, why not create something that would last generations?” Her musings quickly became the “Finding Family” Writing Contest, and in response, almost a dozen people recorded a family story important to them, preserving those stories for future generations.
SAGHS honors the memory of Peggy, who was 100 years old when she passed away in 2021, by continuing the “Finding Family” Writing Contest. Family stories are treasures that enrich lives for generations; their preservation is a mission of SAGHS.
The contest offers $100 prizes in two divisions: Youth (17 years of age and under) and Adult division. Linda Thorsen Bond is sponsoring the youth prize; SAGHS is sponsoring the adult prize and honorable mention prizes. Judges solicited from the writing and genealogy community are:
- Pam Backlund, president of the San Angelo Writers Club, who wrote and published Concho Folks 1800s Fiction: Short Stories in 2020.
- Linda Thorsen Bond, author of Saving the Oldest Town in Texas and San Angelo A to Z: A Young Reader’s Guide.
- Dana Glossbrenner, author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers; The Lark: Book One of the Sulfur Gap Series; and Low Water Crossing: Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series (2020).
- Allen Wright, editor of the Stalkin’ Kin in Old West Texas, journal of the San Angelo Genealogical and Historical Society.
The basic rules for the contest are:
- You must live in Tom Green County or be a member of SAGHS.
- You must write the story yourself or with a co-writer who has a byline.
- It must be about your own relative or ancestor; it doesn’t matter where they lived.
- Must be a true story, not a fictional account.
- Must be at least 5 pages long, double spaced, and no longer than 12 pages.
- Digital submissions only, written in Word or RTF.
- Submit as an attachment to email@example.com with the email subject “Finding Family Writing Contest.”
- Photos are encouraged at 300 dpi, please.
- Due 8 p.m. Saturday, October 1.
- Include Name, Address, City & Zip, Email, Phone.
- Label with Division: Youth (17 or under) or Adult.