Advice to Younger Self Contest Winners

Winner #1-Amy Pontius pic.JPG

Grand Prize


Amy Pontius is an educator currently teaching middle school gifted language arts/reading in Southwest Florida. With 19 years of experience, she began her career teaching inner city high school English in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned both her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and her Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Cleveland State University.

A passionate poet and writer, Amy is newly immersing herself in the world of publication. Having published a few poems and articles, she is working on honing her craft by attending writing conferences, including the Sanibel Island Writers Conference and the Kauai Writers Conference, and discovering avenues of sharing her words with the world.

Winner #2-Mary Dolan pic.jpg

Runner up


Mary Dolan’s long way home has taken her from her native Philadelphia, where she ran her own Marketing Communications firm, to the coast of Maine where she launched a second life’s chapter selling her photography on the East Coast art show circuit.  From there, she relocated to Central Virginia and finally settled on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Mary’s show tents and display racks have given way to a laptop whose keyboard she shares with her five rescued cats.  She shares credit for recent accolades with the cats as well, never knowing whose stroke on the keys produced a winning entry.  First came acceptance of her short story, Jack’s Confession, about a gambling priest, for inclusion in the Rehoboth Beach 2018 Anthology entitled “Beach Fun.”  She also placed second in the latest Delaware Press Association Professional Communications Contest for her Editorial/Opinion piece on School Shootings.  And she has seen her Haiku published in The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry.

At this writing, she and the cats are primed to create their next memoir for submission to Kaleidoscope.

Winner #3-Natalie Beisner Pic.jpg

honorable mention


Natalie Beisner has been a big juicy bookworm all her life. As a child, she had dreams of becoming a writer, but she put them aside during her twenties to things (you can get all the juicy details in her story linked here). She turned thirty this year, promptly freaked out (even though she’d promised herself she wouldn’t), and--not knowing what she was doing with her life--she started to write (she still doesn’t know what she’s doing, but she’s okay with it). This piece marks her first time sharing her work in over a decade. Currently taking classes with WOW! Women on Writing, she is excited to continue learning and writing--hopefully with a collection of personal essays, a novel, or a play (maybe all of the above!) in her future. Natalie received her BFA in Theatre from Cal State Fullerton. She would like to thank Kaleidoscope for reading and recognizing her work and giving her the opportunity to share some of her stories. She loves Mom and Dad, which is maybe irrelevant in this instance, but she just really wants you to know. She currently resides in Los Angeles (also irrelevant, but there you go).