Santa Monica College honors student Dean Stewart has won the top prize in a national community college literary contest sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Stewart, 66, of Sylmar, receives the $1,000 Citation Scholarship for having the best overall submission for the 2006 Nota Bene literary anthology published by Phi Theta Kappa.

His submission, a short story titled “Pain,” is a coming-of-age story about a boy whose mother is a child abuser.

“I was pleasantly surprised and shocked when I won it,” said Stewart, a semi-retired entertainment industry accountant who has taken classes off and on at Santa Monica College since 1990 and an earlier, longer stint in the late ’60s.

His submission was one of more than 1,600 entries of short stories, poetry and essays from which 21, including Stewart’s, was picked for publication in this year’s issue of Nota Bene.

The anthology, due out this month, is distributed to more than 1,700 libraries nationwide and abroad.

Stewart, who plans to transfer to California State University, Channel Islands this spring, is an English and creative writing major who studied screenwriting through UCLA Extension.

He has written five screenplays and several short stories and he is working on a novel.

While at Santa Monica College, he was a member of the Alpha Gamma honors club and appeared in two theatrical productions, The Laramie Project and Cabaret.

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