Story contest winners named |

Story contest winners named

Students awarded gift certificates for fiction writing

Melinda Mawdsley

Drew Ruff, left, placed second, Victoria Lavington placed first and Corey Puffett placed third in an fictional short story writing contest held as part of the Steamboat Springs' Gifted and Talented Program. Off the Beatean Path Bookstore gave the winners gift certificates. Jamie Gay, not pictured, was named honorable mention.

— The inspiration for their short stories were different, but Victoria Lavington, Drew Ruff and Corey Puffett all have one thing in common – a love of writing.

The three placed first, second and third, respectively, in a fictional writing contest held by Steamboat Springs School District gifted and talented teacher Lisa Ruff.

“I wanted to provide opportunities for students who want to write outside the regular curriculum,” Lisa Ruff said.

She received 13 short stories of approximately 1,000 words each, and a panel of judges selected Lavington’s story on Ski Band, the high school band that parades down Lincoln Avenue on skis during the Winter Carnival, as the winner.

“My first year moving here, we had to do Ski Band,” Lavington said. “I wrote about my experience and made it funny.”

Ruff said the judges enjoyed reading all the entries because they were so different and so well written.

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“Their grammar was very clean, and their conventions were flawless,” Lisa Ruff said.

Lavington, Drew Ruff and Puffett also demonstrated a firm grasp of English vocabulary with their word selections, and the sentence structure and imagery in the winning short stories stood out.

Drew Ruff’s second-place story recreated a fictional battle scene from World War I.

“It was about a book I read,” Ruff said.

Puffett’s short story was a fictional dream sequence.

“I started writing it before the contest, and my friend read it and said I should enter it,” Puffett said.

Lavington is a junior. Ruff and Puffett are freshmen. Sophomore Jamie Gay was an honorable mention selection.

Lavington, Ruff and Puffett got together for an informal reading session Wednesday night at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore.

The three shared their short stories and accepted their Off the Beaten Path gift certificates for placing in the top three.

Lisa Ruff said she and Off the Beaten Path, which helped sponsor the contest, are hoping the spring contest grows.

– To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail