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Second Round Finalist (English)
6 Finalist (English)

First Edition

Salt is equal to knowledge, wealth and power. It has incredible history and is essential to human development. This mineral has added extra flavor to language, religion and international trade. The metaphorical possibilities are infinite. Our bodies contain internal oceans that closely resemble the ionic balance of ocean water.

From the moment of conception, humans need the salty environment of amniotic fluid. Salt is essential for life. Throughout history this flower of the ocean has played a significant role in the preservation of food and it has satiated our superstitious appetites as we throw it over our shoulder for good luck. This elemental gift from our beloved oceans will become the liaison between visual art and literature.

Working with crystals of salt, creating paintings, sculptures and installations, Italian artist Bettina Werner has built her international career. Today, as founder of The Salt Queen Foundation, Bettina Werner celebrates her favorite medium with a literary award. Here are the rules that each writer who desires to participate must follow:


The Salt Queen Foundation organizes the first edition of "Words of Salt", a literary award.

1) Writers must submit ONE unpublished story. The story must be written in English and must be based on ideas or events suggested by the word "salt" (in its widest meaning: salt as a natural element, salt in cooking, salt and sea, travels, mythology, etc.). The story must not exceed 6000 characters, including spaces.

2) Writers must submit 4 copies of typed text, printed on standard 8x11 paper. All copies must be anonymous. Each copy must bear the title of the story on the first page. Writers must also submit a CD or a floppy disk with the file of the story saved in Rich Text Format (RTF) and a short biography (no longer than 15-20 lines), as well as their contact information (address, e-mail, telephone numbers, etc.).

3) The contest has been extended through the summer.
New deadline is July 31st, 2005.

Stories must be sent to the following address:

The Salt Queen Foundation Office (Words of Salt)
969 First Avenue
Suite 2R
New York, New York 10022


4) President: Bettina Werner
Director: Lorenza Cerbini

Jury members:

- Stefano Albertini (Director of "Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo'", New York University)
- Eric Ernst (artist, writer)
- Lella Heins (playwright/writer)
- Miriam Mirolla (art historian)
- Piercarlo Necchi (philosophy professor, writer)
- Sharyn Rosenblum (Director of Media Relations, Harper Collins Publishers)
- Julia Szabo (author, journalist - "The New York Times" and "New York Post")
- Pat Winter (writer, author of historical fiction)


5) The jury will select the winner and the finalists.

- The winner: will receive a salt painting created by Bettina Werner (value: $7,000), inspired
by the story of the winner, plus a check for $500 (five hundred dollars).
His/Her short story will be published by the English language monthly audiomagazine Speak Up (DeAgostini Rizzoli Periodici). Online:
- Second prize: will receive a check for $300 (three hundred dollars)
- Special prize: a check for $200 (two hundred dollars) will be awarded to an honorable mention.

Winners must attend the Award Ceremony that will be held on November 4th, 2005 at "Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo'", New York University.

The date of the ceremony will be communicated via web site


6) Entries will not be returned to the author. The Salt Queen Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit institution. Each writer agrees to donate his/her story to the Foundation for cultural and educational purposes (future publications, books, web site content etc).
To participate each writer acknowledges and agrees to these guidelines.


The Salt Queen Foundation
Phone: (212) 759-6561


The Salt Queen Foundation would like to thank our generous in-kind donors for making possible this first edition of "Words of Salt" award

- Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo' (New York University)
- Lavazza Coffees
- Speak Up audiomagazine (DeAgostini Rizzoli Periodici)
- Tuscan Association of New York
Photo: L. Beck

Copyright 2005 The Salt Queen Foundation All Rights Reserved