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Creative Writing Students Win Awards

3-22 Creative writing students win awardsThe Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University announces the winners of this year’s Roy F. Powell Awards for creative writing.

In poetry, Jared Sharpe won for his poems “To Grow,” “Sleep Them Off” and “What Dream he Gave.” Jackson Sharpe and Kyera Swint received honorable mentions. In the category of fiction, Efadul Huq won for his story “Ghosts.” Honorable mentions went to Matt Lane and Anna Hathaway. For creative nonfiction writing, Taylor Tyson received the top honor for “3.5 Pounds.” Evin Hughes and Cady Ennis received honorable mentions.

The winning manuscripts were chosen from several highly competitive submissions, according to faculty judges Emma Bolden, poetry; Laura Valeri, fiction; and Theresa Welford, creative nonfiction.

Sharpe, a senior from Vidalia, Ga., is a double-major in writing and linguistics and Spanish and has been influenced by many writers, including Gregory Maguire. “They inspired me to be brave in my imagination,” said Sharpe. He added J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins made him believe writing can change the world dramatically. “My Aunt Gwen encourages me through her writings to be honest and vulnerable.” One judge praised Sharpe’s poetry. “It stood out because of the dexterity of language and the gorgeous leaps that beautifully convey a psychological landscape,” said Bolden.

Huq, from Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a senior civil engineering major minoring in mathematics and writing, and credits Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Krishnamurti and Gabriel Garcia Marquez as his literary influences. “I step over the edge and fall, until I disappear into a playfulness of symbols, meanings and connotations making up human possibilities,” said Huq as he explained his writing. “The thoughtful and poetic voice of this narrator swept me into a world full of wonders and passions and was so deeply and sweetly immersed in it that I did not want to come out,” added Valeri.

Tyson, a sophomore writing and linguistics major from Loganville, Ga., cites Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett among his literary influences. “It takes a lot — pressure, emotional pain, etc. — to actually start me writing,” said Tyson. “I must be at a precipice within my own life for it to organically happen.” Welford noted the strong voice, the vivid descriptions and the startling yet oddly plausible leaps of the imagination made this essay stand out.

Winners of the Roy F. Powell Awards receive $100, a framed award certificate and recognition at the University’s Honors Day ceremonies on April 3. Their work will also be published in Miscellany, the campus literary arts magazine.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its stud

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