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2016 Roy F. Powell Creative Writing Awards winners announced

The Georgia Southern University Department of Writing and Linguistics is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Roy F. Powell Creative Writing Awards:

  • The winner for poetry is Devan Pride, for a collection of poems.
    • Honorable Mention: Rebecca Frost
    • Honorable Mention: Summer Kurtz
  • The winner in fiction is Michael Conner, for the story “Lessons.”
    • Honorable Mention: Maggie Delisle
    • Honorable Mention: Brieana Williams
  • The winner in creative nonfiction is Jordan Taylor, for the piece “Muscadine Wine.”
    • Honorable Mention: Savannah Manning
    • Honorable Mention: Aleyna Rentz
    • Honorable Mention: Brieana Williams

The winners will read at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, in IT1005. Pride, Conner, and Taylor will each receive a cash award of $100, a framed award certificate, and recognition at the University’s Honors Day ceremonies on April 6. In addition, their work will be published in Miscellany, the campus arts magazine.

Of Devan Pride’s poetry, judge Dr. Terry Welford said:

By immersing readers in precise language, vivid scenes, and evocative sensory details, Devan Pride’s three beautifully crafted poems invite us to share an array of very human emotions: nostalgia, fear, humor, melancholy, impatience, anger.

On Michael Conner’s story, judge Professor Ben Drevlow said:

Michael Conner’s “Lessons” sneaks up on you with the beautiful stark poetry of its prose. Make no mistake, this is short fiction at its best, as it lures you in with its lyricism and pulls you through with its subtle insight into the loneliness and confusion of the childhood condition. The story this young girl’s many sad life lessons along the way to coming of age lingers long after you’ve read and reread it over and over looking for the point of insertion–that tiny, almost imperceptible puncture wound where its melancholy has seeped into your subconscious without your realizing it. That Conner manages to explore so much life in so few words stands as a testament to his gift as a storyteller and a wordsmith of the highest order.

Of Jordan Taylor’s essay “Muscadine Wine,” judge Professor Christina Olson said:

In this moving piece, a daughter writes about her parents’ relationship with tenderness and honesty, starting with the day they met, long before Taylor was even alive. Like all good writing about family, “Muscadine Wine” doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff–too-small paychecks, quashed dreams, alcohol abuse, marital tension–but paints no one as a victim. It’s a moving and honest portrayal of a marriage, told by the daughter who is a product of it. The language and flora burst from every page, beautifully wild.

Named for the first creative writing teacher at Georgia Southern, the Roy F. Powell Awards for Creative Writing are offered by the Department of Writing and Linguistics to encourage and recognize excellence in creative writing. The annual competition is open to all Georgia Southern University students, both graduate and undergraduate. Click here for more information about the Department’s sponsored awards.

The Department of Writing and Linguistics is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity, and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world.


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