Annual High School Writing Contest

By Brenda Remmes

Immediately with the beginning of the new year, SCWW was off and running with their annual high school writing competition established for eleventh and twelfth graders throughout South Carolina. Four hundred letters went out to all public high schools, private high schools, and home schools on our list. If your school did not receive an announcement and wants to be included, please notify us so that we add your name to our mailing list.

The categories for submission include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The deadline for entries was March 1st and our three judges are in the process now of evaluating each piece of writing. We were delighted to have the following judges agree to evaluate submissions:

Gene Fehler for poetry: Gene is a widely published poet and the author of over eighteen hundred published poems, stories and article. His work has been anthologized in college textbooks and in books published by Boyds Mill Press, Addison Wesley Longman, Hyperion Books for Children, Doubleday, St. Martin’s Press, Houghton Mifflin, Meadowbrook Press, Avon Books, Pocket Books and others. His young adult free verse novel, Beanball, was named 2008 Best Book in the Grades 7-12 Novel. Gene spends several weeks a year with students as a visiting poet in South Carolina’s Artist-in-Education Program.

Thomas Dabbs for non-fiction. Tom is currently Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance studies at Aoyama Gakuin University in central Tokyo, where he has taught since 2003. He is a graduate of Furman University, with a degree in English. He completed an M.A. in English at Claremont Graduate School and earned a Ph.D. in English, from the University of South Carolina. His publications include a book on Christopher Marlowe (Bucknell UP) and various other articles and presentations in the fields of Shakespearean studies, reception studies, and general literature. Tom is currently on sabbatical and residing in Columbia, SC, where he is conducting research at the Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina.

Kathryn Lovatt for fiction. Kathryn completed her MFA at Hollins University in Virginia and taught classes in creative writing at universities in Hong Kong and Indonesia. Kathryn has worked as both a journalist and a corporate editor. She has received fellowships at both The Weymouth Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She is twice winner of the Carrie McCray Awards, once in fiction and once in poetry, and has also received the Doris Betts Prize for short fiction and the Robert Rourke Fiction Award. In addition, she has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Awards.

Winners will be announced by Martha Greenway, our contest chair, at the end of April. Members of SCWW plan to work with each school to find an appropriate time to recognize students and present awards to the winners. In our minds, however, every student who entered is a winner. As every writer knows, you can’t get published without first submitting.

Our next writing contest will be the Carrie McCray Awards which are sponsored in coordination with our annual conference in October. Look for more information on that coming soon.

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