Edward Rojas

Edward Rojas

BOONE — The fall scholarship creative writing competition: poetry and prose, was open to all full-time students attending Appalachian State University and four students were awarded scholarships for the 2020 academic year.

“Congratulations to our winners! And thank you to everyone who entered. It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of a community of such talented and committed writers. I’m grateful to all of you,” said Mark Powell, director of the creative writing program.

Brooke Hayhurst and Jay Phillips, the first winners of the new Marjorie Idol Scholarship in prose and poetry, were each awarded a $1,120 scholarship. Hayhurst, a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing, received the creative prose award. Phillips, a sophomore English major with a concentration in creative writing from Charlotte, North Carolina received the poetry award. Phillips submitted four works titled “Almost,” “Gain,” “Nigrescence” and “Only.”

Sadie Maddock, a senior electronic media and broadcast production major from Pittsboro, North Carolina, was awarded the John Foster West Scholarship for creative prose and received a $612 award for her piece titled “Mycelium.” Maddock also received an honorable mention for poetry.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to submit this story and I am additionally grateful to receive the John Foster West Scholarship,” said Maddock.

Teagan Compton, a junior English major from Clayton, North Carolina, was awarded the Marian Coe Scholarship for poetry and received $992. Compton submitted four works titled “A Spiraling Rant to My Notebook at 3:12 am While My Roommate Pretends They’re Asleep,” “Why Am I Wearing a Crop Top in This Weather,” “Florence 2018” and “September— JulyAugustSeptember.”

“I want to thank the creative writing professors I had last semester who encouraged me to labor over my words and create something that was real and fluorescent,” Compton said.

Saylor Ferguson, a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing from Raleigh, North Carolina, received an honorable mention in poetry. Ferguson submitted poems titled “Red Roof Inn,” “Becoming Author,” “Winter Battle” and “Minivan Montages.”

“I only began writing poetry in the fall of 2019 while taking a creative writing poetry class. I submitted four of the poems that I had written for my poetry class and was completely surprised to see that my poems received an honorable mention,” Ferguson said. “The poems I submitted focused largely on memories of family and nature such as moments on road trips, hiking excursions, a love letter to a deceased family member and a memorable falconry experience.”

Edward Rojas, a senior philosophy major from Boone, North Carolina, received an honorable mention in creative prose for his story titled “Candy Floss.”

“I would like to thank Mark Powell for letting me know about the competition and Kayla Whitaker for helping me improve my story,” Rojas said.

The creative writing contest judge, Charles Dodd White, is the author of three novels and a short story collection. He has been recognized for excellence in Appalachian writing with the Chaffin Award. He has also received a fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. White lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his family and he teaches English at Pellissippi State Community College. His novel, “In the House of Wilderness,” won the 2018 Appalachian Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writers Association.

“I was excited to have a chance to read so many submissions that reflect the best in new student writing we have coming out of the region. Reading new work is one of the great pleasures we have as writers and teachers. I’m happy to say that this year’s submissions didn’t disappoint,” White said.

The John Foster West Endowed Creative Writing Prize, Marian Coe Scholarship in Creative Writing and Marjorie South Idol Prize for Fiction and Creative Prose are all awarded to winners of a joint creative writing competition held every fall semester at Appalachian State University.

More information about these scholarship awards can be found at: https://english.appstate.edu/students/scholarships.

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