The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio

The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan is the perfect book for summertime reading and has become one of my all time favourite books. Not just because it is a wonderful true story about a woman who has inspired many a contestor, but because it also changed my life.

In 2003, after seeing several people chat about the book in an online contesting group I decided would like to give it a read. I remember walking around the house, with a duster or vacuum in one hand and the book in the other as I could not put it down. (I also highly recommend having a tissue box nearby.)

Apparently, someone in Hollywood was also inspired and in 2005, Julianne Moore stared in the movie of the same name. As soon as the movie came out on DVD I bought it. I was watching the extras and saw that Dortha Schaefer was still alive, living in Payne OH, and writing for The Paulding Country Progress. I wrote her at the paper, and she me wrote back!

I eventually met Dortha, the remaining Affidaisy members and even became an honorary Affadaisy for a day. I was also lucky enough to interview all of them for my book. (The Winning EDGE Vol 3 Issue 5 and The Affadaisies.) Sadly, both Evelyn, the book’s heroine, and the author have both passed away and I did not meet either of them.

This is not your regular book review. I am not going to give anything away as I want you to run to your local bookstore or library and get it. And, only after have you read the book do I want you to see the movie.

I hope you enjoy the book and movie as much as I do.

2016-06-22T11:58:24+00:00July 18th, 2008|Book Review|4 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.


  1. Wendy July 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I have the DVD and it has been posted all around NZ to various comping friends. I got it through Amazon and I am pretty sure there are only a couple of copies in the whole of New Zealand haha.
    I have the subnic “the prizewinner of Auckand , New Zealand” under my name at a board I administer. Funny thing is it is a board that has nothing to do with comping or sweeps. One of the other admins just put it up there under my name anyway lol.

  2. corkrose July 18, 2008 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I loved the movie and think J Moore did a great job of portraying the story and the person – it was good and very inspiring…

  3. Cathy Grills July 19, 2008 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Hi Carolyn,
    good to see that someone is still promoting the book and movie. I had the rare pleasure of being an on-line pen pal with Terry the author, and talked to her and her sister Betsy on the phone once while they were filming the movie in the Toronto area. For anyone that is interested, there is a IMDB discussion board at
    Just an interesting tidbit that Terry told me once, the part of Evelyn was offered to Renee Zellweger, but she turned it down because she felt she wasn’t old enough to be the mother of so many children…….
    Cathy from Alberta :O)

  4. Suzanne July 27, 2008 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Wow, I just finished reading it (in one day) upon your recommendation. What a sad story. What that poor family had to go through because of the father… Ugggh!

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