Release date: April 14, 2014
COLUMBUS – East Mississippi Community College hosted the state community college creative writing conference this year and won all the poetry awards. We’ll call that poetic justice.
The Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association 2014 annual conference and awards banquet took place April 11 at EMCC’s Lion Hills. Participating community colleges sent representatives and students to accept awards in writing and publication categories, and to receive some advice on writing from the competition’s judges.
EMCC represented itself well in its year to host, sweeping the top three spots in the Poetry category and taking home the award for the state’s Best Professionally Printed Magazine for its Syzygy literature and art magazine for the second consecutive year.
“EMCC’s hosting the MCCCWA 2014 conference was a pure delight,” said Marilyn Ford, EMCC English instructor and master of ceremonies for the event.
“In doing so, we were able to give creative writing students throughout the state the rare opportunity to showcase their best work and to hear speakers from all walks of life highlight valuable advice for writing in various genres.”
Two of Ford’s best students were on hand to accept their awards for Poetry. Thomas Quinn of Columbus accepted awards for 1st Place, 3rd Place and an Honorable Mention for multiple poems he submitted to the competition. Charles Thomas Salazar of Caledonia accepted the 2nd Place award.
“Thomas Quinn and Charles Thomas Salazar are two of the finest student poets I’ve had the pleasure of teaching. Both young men strive to become the best writers that they possibly can. I couldn’t be more proud of these two students,” said Ford.
EMCC’s award-winning 2013 magazine, Syzygy, is available online at eastms.edu. EMCC will release the hard copy of the 2014 issue during the Pine Grove Arts Festival April 16 at the Golden Triangle campus.
Judges and speakers for the event included Benjamin Sutton (Poetry), a past winner of the Kay Murphy Prize in Poetry and Ada Vincent Creative Writing Fellow at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.; Dr. Greg Bentley (Literary Analysis), an associate professor in the English Department at Mississippi State University whose classes include Renaissance literature and modern dram; Dr. Josie Shumake (Creative Nonfiction), a former U.S. diplomat in eight foreign countries and a former EMCC English instructor who holds a Ph.D. in English Literature; Wiliam "Peppy" Biddy (Drama), chair of both the Department of Theatre and Department of Communication at Mississippi University for Women; and Michael Farris Smith (Short Fiction), a Columbus author whose debut novel, “Rivers,” was named to the Best Books of 2013 lists by Book Riot, Hudson Booksellers, The Capital Times and several other national outlets.
Dr. Andrew Kelly, creative writing instructor at Holmes Community College, filled in as a speaker for Smith, who was unable to attend.
In the photo above: EMCC student Thomas Quinn of Columbus, left, accepts the 1st Place award for Poetry from Poetry judge Benjamin Sutton at the Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association's annual conference at Lion Hills.
EMCC Assistant Dean of Instruction Gina Thompson, right, accepts the award for Best Professionally Printed Literary Magazine from EMCC English instructor Marilyn Ford during the Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association's annual conference and awards banquet.
EMCC students swept the Poetry category at the MCCCWA annual conference and award banquet. Here's a look at their prize-winning work.
1st place: (lord let me suffer much),
by Thomas Quinn
2nd place: Art of Sinking,
by Charles Thomas Salazar
3rd place: And My Way Also,
by Thomas Quinn
BEST LITERARY MAGAZINE
EMCC won first place for Best Professionally Printed Literary Magazine at the MCCCWA conference.
Click here to read the 2013 Syzygy magazine.
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MCCCWA at Lion Hills, 4-11-14