Literary heavyweights choose student winners of IU Southeast Writing Contest

3rd November 2010

NEW ALBANY, IN (Nov. 3, 2010) – A number of award-winning authors and an Indiana University Southeast alumnus selected 22 student winners for the 2010 IU Southeast Writing Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 100 blind submissions of contest entries and chose First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Honorable Mention in each of five categories. Winners of first through third place received a monetary award.

The first-place winners in each category were:

  • Ian Uriel Girdley, creative nonfiction, “Picture Window”
  • Thomas Olges, fiction, “Family Planning”
  • Madison Cyr, flash fiction, “Always, Never”
  • John Scott Brewer, poetry, “Come Fly With Me”
  • John P. Cronin, research, “Affirmative Action in Higher Education: A Political and Historical Analysis”

Authors Jim Tomlinson, Adam Day, and Karen Salyer McElmurray joined IU Southeast alumnus Will Biel to judge the student writers.

  • Tomlinson is the author of the short story collection Things Kept, Things Left Behind which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, and nothing like an ocean. Both collections feature stories set in rural Kentucky. He was awarded a 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. He judged the Fiction/Flash Fiction category.
  • Day is the author of “Badger, Apocrypha”, a chapbook which won a 2010 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. His work has been nominated for 2008 and 2009 Pushcart Prizes, and included in Best New Poets 2008. He judged poetry category.
  • McElmurray is the author of The Motel of the Stars among other novels. She is also the author of Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, recipient of the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction, as well as Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. She judged the Creative Non-Fiction category.
  • Will Biel graduated from IU Southeast in the spring of 2010 with a BA in English and was named Outstanding Student in English Literature. He is now pursuing his MA in English at University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, and ultimately plans to achieve a PhD specializing in Old English and Medieval Studies. He judged the Research category.

 Winners will be honored at the annual English Department Gala at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2. The public is invited to the gala, which will feature the award presentation, readings, an undergraduate art show, silent auction, musical performance, and a poster display where English department students present their research.

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