TEMECULA — Nathalie Taylor of Fallbrook placed first in the 2009 Erle Stanley Gardner Mystery Writing Contest with her short story, “Clue of the Scratched Stones.”
The contest accepts entries from throughout the nation. Taylor was presented an engraved plaque, a certificate and a cash award of $200.
This is only the third fiction piece Taylor has written since her university days. All three were written for the ESG contest and all three were award-winners.
In 2006 she placed first with the story “Erica’s Discovery,” and in 2008 she took third place with “The Mystery of the Front Room.” Taylor is interested in marketing the stories as a trilogy.
The parameters were somewhat limiting, as the story had to be kept to 2,500 words and be suitable for all audiences. The writers were also required to incorporate historical sites, buildings or residents of the Temecula Valley.
Taylor included references to a former California Conservation Corps camp in Aguanga, Aguanga’s Stagecoach Inn and an adobe site at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.
Taylor holds a holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
She is grateful to English professors Dr. James Simmons and Dr. Al Landwehr for their exceptional instruction, inspiration and encouragement.
“Dr. Simmons would say, ‘Listen to how one word sounds against another and then listen to the silence,’” Taylor commented.
Since her university graduation, Taylor has worked in various writing fields including advertising, public relations and print journalism.
She served as a writer for Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini as well as editor of the city newsletter, “Community Connection.” She also worked on writing projects for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Taylor worked as features editor, staff writer and photographer for the Fallbrook Village News. The Temecula Valley News has also published her articles and photographs and she was 2005 Fallbrook Sourcebook editor.
Since 2004, Taylor has won 23 journalism awards and as a published poet has also garnered various awards beginning with a second place win in the Cal Poly Creative Writing Contest/Poetry Division.
The ESG Mystery Writing Contest was held in conjunction with the Erle Stanley Gardner Mystery Weekend in Temecula November 5-7.
Gardner, a prolific writer who created the “Perry Mason” series, was a resident of Temecula.