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Linda Purdy Memorial Prize

Writer, artist, & life-long learner, Linda Purdy (June 21, 1943-November 3, 2022)

Linda Purdy enriched the Orange County literary and arts community for over 30 years. Her playful poems, stories, and art found homes in The Ear, Faultline, and other local literary magazines. At Irvine Valley College, she swept into our classes ready to open young students’ eyes to the magic of the everyday, to share her deep knowledge, and to learn with us.

In her poetry, Linda often zeroed in on tiny details--dust, a plant twining up a carport, a goldfish--and helped us see them with fresh eyes, finding deeper meaning about huge concepts like mortality or perfection. Her stories featured sometimes zany characters, but always with vivid, captivating voices. Like her other work, Linda’s photographs made us notice the spectacular--a pickup truck that appears to be hovering, clouds echoing cypress tree shapes, even a steel colander momentarily made UFO.

The Linda Purdy Memorial Prize aims to promote the work of members of the Orange County community whose poetry or prose resonates with Linda’s own and helps keep our focus on the weird and wonderful in our lives.

The Award

Winner receives $200 and publication in issue 26. One winner each in genres of poetry and fiction. All finalists will be considered for publication.


The Ear invites Orange County residents to submit either original, previously unpublished poems (up to 3 poems, 5 pages maximum) or a short story (4,500 words maximum) that capture(s) the playful, meditative, incisive, and insightful spirit of Linda's work.

Contest is open only to residents of Orange County, California. Members of the IVC community are encouraged to apply, but will not receive priority consideration. Submitters must remove any identifying information from submissions, as all submissions will be judged blind, however, name, address, phone number, and email should be included in the space provided in Submittable. This information will be withheld from reviewers, but is essential to recognizing viable submissions and awarding the prize.

The Judges

The founding editor of The Ear, Elaine Rubenstein, and professor emeritus of English and humanities at Irvine Valley College, Peter Morrison, will serve as the judges for the inaugural Linda Purdy Memorial Prize.


Learn more about Linda Purdy's life and work by visiting our friends at Citric Acid.

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