Denis Murphy, a former New Yorker, who has lived and worked with the urban poor in the Philippines for more than 35 years copped the 2008 First Prize in the Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition sponsored by Our Own Voice, an online literary journal. The prize literally went to "Heaven," a highly imaginative piece of storytelling, told with humor and dry wit on the questionable state of the afterlife. The protagonists in the story agree that hell has been widely documented, but heaven? The winning story is in this issue of Our Own Voice, http://www.oovrag.com/stories/stories2008c-1.shtml.
Murphy's recent book, A Woman Pope, Neanderthals and Other Stories was released by New Day Publishers. He is married to Alicia Gentolia-Murphy and they make their home in Project 4, Quezon City, Philippines. Murphy will receive a copy of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (Firstfruits/PWU, 2003) and a check for $100.
This year's competition received entries from around the world. No Second Prize or Third Prize was selected by the judges. Short listed were entries by Susan Evangelista, Elsa Orejudos Valmidiano and Victoria M. Martinez.
This year's prize sponsors of the Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition were Ms. Lisa Graves, Esq. and Ms. Yolanda Palacios. The competition was named in memory of Ivy Terasaka, an emerging writer, who was among the victims of the Tsunami of 2004 that swept the beach resort where she and her family were spending their holiday. Ivy was a familiar face and voice at various Singapore literary events. In late 2003, she discovered Our Own Voice and submitted a short story which was published posthumously in http://www.oovrag.com/stories/stories2005a-4.shtml.