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Theater's essay contest honors John Deaver
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Published: 10/18/2007 12:13 AM

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Steel Beam Theatre, a not for profit professional theater in downtown St. Charles, is sponsoring an essay contest to honor the memory of local actor, author and good friend John Deaver.

Deaver played the part of Ralph Parker, the narrator in Jean Shepherd's holiday classic "A Christmas Story" onstage at Steel Beam in 2005. Contributions from all over the country poured in after his untimely death in 2006, from his writer friends, and people who had shared in the gift of his excellent performance as Ralph Parker.

Since Steel Beam is once again producing "A Christmas Story," the board of directors wishes to honor the memory of John Deaver by creating a writing contest in his name: The John Deaver "A Christmas Story" Short Story/Memoir Contest.

It is open to adults, high schoolers and children.

Organizers are looking for your best literary short stories or memoirs about the winter holidays (Christmas, Kwanza, Hannukah, etc.) Winners will receive a cash honorarium, publication in a booklet printed by Steel Beam Theatre, five copies of the booklet, two complimentary tickets to "A Christmas Story" and the chance to read their story during a Steel Beam Theatre performance Nov. 23 to Dec. 23.

All stories should be no longer than the maximum length set forth below, and must be received by Nov. 1. Winners will be notified on or about Nov. 15.

By entering, winners consent to the publication of their submission in SBT's booklet, and represent that their work is original, has not been previously published, and does not infringe any third party rights. Winners retain copyright in their submissions.

Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges whose decisions are final in all matters. Final judges are Jeff Forsell, webmaster and treasurer of the Steel Beam Theatre Board and a graduate of The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and Mary Hutchings Reed, author of Courting Kathleen Hannigan and secretary of the SBT Board.

You may submit your manuscript at www.SteelBeamTheatre.com, or a double-spaced, typewritten copy may be sent to Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174.

Include the following information in the upper left hand corner: Division, Name, Address, Telephone numbers, e-mail address and word count.

Adults' word limit is 2,500 and the prize would be $100.

High school students' word limit is 2,000 and prize is $100.

Kids in grades 7/8 have a word limit of 500 and prize of $75. Grades 5/6 have a limit of 250 words and prize of $ 50. Grades 3/4 have a word limit of 100 and prize of $25.