KEY WEST, Fla. – Ernest Hemingway fans wrap up a five-day celebration Sunday, commemorating both the author's literary prowess and his vigorous lifestyle. Beth McMurray, a graduate student from San Mateo, Calif., won the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, the literary highlight of the Hemingway Days festival.
McMurray, 25, earned the contest's $1,000 first prize for her story "Mascot," which bested 687 other entries. The story recounts how a young girl's bravery and wisdom provided direction to her emotionally adrift parents.
It impressed the judges for its efficient, well-chosen words and images and its offbeat original humor, said Lorian Hemingway, Hemingway's granddaughter.
Other festival events included author readings, a marlin tournament, a one-man play examining Hemingway's life and Saturday's "Running of the Bulls," a short jaunt with mock bulls on wheels.
A Hemingway look-alike contest has attracted 131 stocky, white-bearded contenders to Sloppy Joe's Bar, Hemingway's favorite Key West watering hole, where the newest "Papa" was to be chosen Saturday night.
Hemingway lived in Key West throughout the 1930s, writing many of his classic works in a second-story studio adjoining his Whitehead Street home.