East Mississippi Community College Humanities instructor Marilyn Ford with the 2016-17 issue of “Syzygy,” which won first place in the 2018 Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association’s annual workshop and contest.

June 13, 2018

East Mississippi Community College’s literary magazine, “Syzygy” took top honors for the second year in a row among in-house college publications that were professionally bound in the 2018 Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association’s (MCCWA) annual workshop and contest.

The magazine won first place last year and placed second in 2016.

“We were in first place for three or four years before that,” said EMCC instructor Marilyn Ford, who teaches courses in English composition, British literature and creative writing. “We have had a really nice streak.”

The location for the annual contest rotates among the state’s community colleges and took place earlier this year at Jones County Junior College’s main campus in Ellisville.

Students from community colleges across the state also competed in categories that included Creative Writing, Dramatic Fiction, Literary Essay, Poetry and Short Fiction.

EMCC student Anna Wood won an honorable mention in the Short Fiction category for her piece titled “Bad Habits Die Hard.” EMCC student Emilee Wilcox also earned an honorable mention in the “Literary Essay” category.

“Syzygy” is EMCC’s annual magazine of creativity. Faculty advisors and judges choose the winning entries to be included in the magazine among student submissions. Due to timing constraints, magazines from the previous year are judged in the MCCWA’s annual contest.

First place entries in the 2016-17 “Syzygy” magazine are: Bill Lauderdale Art Excellence of Award — Addison Garrett, who designed the cover for the magazine; Betty Killebrew Literary Award of Excellence — Elizabeth Shurlds; Ceramics — Desiree Savage; Drawing — Natalie Runyon; Design — Lexie Maier; Painting — Cassandra Ward; Photography — Brittany Turner; Poetry — Teon Taylor; Short Fiction — Ashley Crunk.

Ford said the magazine has proved popular among students.

“It just seems like the kids still really want that print publication,” Ford said. “Having it online just doesn’t seem to give them the same bragging rights. There is just something about having that print copy that means an awful lot to the kids, their parents and their grandparents.”