AgeSong and Barnes and Noble to Hold Elders Prose and Poetry Contest

AgeSong, a locally managed, privately owned group of senior living communities with an integrative approach to care, has partnered with Barnes and Noble to create a collection of poetry and prose written by elders. Through this California-wide writing contest, a panel of judges will identify 365 works to be published in a first-of-its kind book “Gems of Wisdom – 365 Days of Prose and Poetry by Elders,” scheduled to be released Spring 2011.

“This contest is an opportunity for elders to share their experiences with the world,” said Nader Shabahangi, Ph.D., founder and CEO of AgeSong. “By providing elders with a forum to express their learning, experience and wisdom, we hope to renew the role of eldership in our culture. Eldership is a central goal in our human life and its achievement ought to be shared, valued and celebrated in our society.”


The Gems of Wisdom is a free contest that presents regular people with an opportunity to see their work in print. Writers can submit their work by mail or online before October 15, 2010. The rules can be viewed at

“Elders play a pivotal role in sharing and growing our collective knowledge and understanding of the world,” said Barbara Tavres, community relations manager for Barnes and Noble Booksellers. “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for the community at large to see life through the eyes of these wise elders, and, in doing so, we each become a bit wiser ourselves. With each bookfair and fundraiser that we host for the poetry contest and the ‘Gems of Wisdom‘ book signing release party, we will donate a certain percentage back to Age Song Institute’s Educational Fund.”

This collaboration is an example of Barnes and Noble’s service to the community and a representation of one of AgeSong’s core values – life-long learning. “At AgeSong, we are dedicated to re-establishing the role of eldership and creating environments where elders are honored and celebrated,” explained Shabahangi. “Gems of Wisdom is a prime example of how elders continue to learn, stay engaged and contribute to our society.”


To participate in the contest, all entries must be the original creation of the submitting author and written in English. A panel of judges, including authors, musicians, scholars, artists, and community leaders, will review and rank the submissions based on uniqueness, style and message. Winners will be contacted in January 2011. The contest is open to California residents who consider themselves elders – there is no specific age requirement.