Twenty MGCCC writing contest winners recognized at awards ceremony

April 17, 2013

Artwork on the back cover of "illumination", at left, is by Perkinston Campus student Taryn Wagner. The artwork on the front cover is by Tirzah Legg, also a Perkinston Campus student.

The annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Writing Contest Awards Ceremony was held at the Perkinston Campus on April 4.  A first-,second- and third-place winner was chosen in critical essay, formal verse, free verse, haiku, personal essay, prose poetry and short story categories.  Winning submissions are published in “illumination,” the college’s literary journal and first-place honorees read their winning selections at the ceremony.

Included in the journal is artwork by Perkinston Campus art and design students. The work was selected based on the themes of the winning literary work

“MGCCC conducts its Creative Writing Competition annually to showcase students’ writing and to reward talent. MGCCC’s students are creating fascinating and intricate writing that needs to be rewarded,” said Dr. J. Marcus Weekley, language arts instructor at the Perkinston Campus and the coordinator of this year’s contest.

Valerie Winn, literary arts director for the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education in Ocean Springs, spoke at the event.  Winn was the recipient of a 2008 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, is a former art and journalism teacher, and has written for several Mississippi newspapers including the Mississippi Press, the McComb Enterprise Journal, the Sun Herald, and the Ocean Springs Record. Her magazine credits include publication in Mississippi Magazine, Mississippi Coast Magazine, Mississippi Coast Business Journal, and others. She has been a finalist in the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Creative Writing Competition and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.

Winners in the Formal Verse category were “Blooming for Vishnu” by Lee Hope, first place; “I Do and You Do Too” by Lauren Vierling, second place; and “An Old Man’s Scar” by Brian Bates, third place.  In the Free Verse category, winners included “Nola, Nawlins, the Big Easy” by Shannon Locknane Gjerde, first place; “Sailor’s Impression of a Railroad” by Samantha Leyda and “distorted” by Shannon Locknane Gjerde, both second place; and “Torchlight” by Lee Hope, third place.  In Haiku, “Untitled Haiku” by Jennifer Harris won first place.  Prose Poetry winners included “Bird Watching” by Rachel Wolfe, first place; “Dad’s Last Gift” by Samantha Leyda, second place; and “Chain Smoking…” by Lee Hope, third place.

The winners in the Critical Essay category included “A Rose for Emily” by Lauren Vierling, first place; “Style: Hemingway’s ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’” by Jennifer Windom, second place; and “The Motif of Pools in ‘The Swimmer’” by Andrew Renick, third place.  In Personal Essay, winners were “How Dreams Change” by Sarah Johnson, first place; “Church at my Kitchen Table” by Jamice Williams, second place; and “Fog” by Sarah Rhea, third place.  Winners in Short Story included “The Rooster Dies Today” by Jennifer Delmont, first place; “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Sarah Lott, second place; and “Lights” by Brandy Howell, third place.

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