Booker, McGinley win Writers’ Guild awards
By Gayle Page – Staff WriterA couple of expressive gentlemen with local connections have recently won literary awards for their creative writing. David Booker and Mark McGinley achieved first-place recognition from the Knoxville Writers’ Guild through its annual writing contest.
Booker, a Jefferson City native, won a first place for the second chapter of a science fiction/fantasy thriller that he calls a “work in progress.” This was not Booker’s first Writers’ Guild win. He won last year for a short story in the mystery genre.
Booker has written and published several short stories, and he has been a contributor to a few area newspapers, including the Morristown Citizen Tribune.
He earns his living as a writer, currently doing technical writing for Y-12. Earlier, he did technical and promotional consumer writing for Phillips Electronics (formerly Magnavox), and has done some promotional writing for Log Home magazines, as well. For the past three years Booker has served as editor of his neighborhood newsletter, and he continues working on his novel.
About writing Booker says: “It’s what I enjoy doing, even though sometimes I sit frustrated in front of a blank screen.” He is a long-time member of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, and invites other interested writers to join and enjoy the support of an active, dedicated and diverse writing community.
Mark McGinley, another former resident of Jefferson City who is now Assistant Professor of Theater and Technical Director of Stage Design at Lincoln Memorial University, is also a winner of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild 2014 contest.
McGinley’s writing primarily focuses on his work as a playwright. His winning entry “Still Waters,” is a one-act play set in the Tennessee hills in the 1930’s, with a ragtag cast of characters and a moonshine theme. It hasn’t been performed on stage yet, but whenever that happens, the 32-page script will take actors about 30 minutes to execute.
He has had one play entitled “Sold” performed by a theater workshop group (now disbanded), but McGinley still has plenty of other ideas and plays he hopes to produce. It’s possible that one of his plays will be performed at the Tiger Lily Theater in Knoxville, in April.
McGinley earned his undergraduate degree at Carson-Newman University, and while he lived nearby he worked for the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge and doubled as a massage therapist. Today he stays so busy he only has time to concentrate on his primary vocation, which is theater. He received his graduate degree, a masters in theater design and stage combat, from Louisiana Tech.
About writing McGinley says: “It’s hard work until you come up with an idea that burns inside of you until you put it on a page. Then it’s more work, work, work.”
Of course, he would never want to do anything else.
Finishing first earned Booker and McGinley $100 each in prize money. Aspiring writers who might be interested in joining the Knoxville Writers Guild are invited to go online to http://www.knoxvillewritersguild.org and see what they have to offer, or write to them for an informational brochure, at Knoxville Writers’ Guild, P.O. Box 10326, Knoxville TN 37939-032.