Next Up | Grady Awards in Creative Writing

On Thursday, February 16, the New Writing Series celebrates the winners of the 2012 Steve Grady Awards for Creative Writing, who will read from their winning manuscripts. The event will be held at 4:30pm in the Soderberg Auditorium (Jenness Hall) and is free and open to all, though seating is limited. This year’s judges were Laura Mullen (poetry) and Amina Cain (fiction). You’ll find brief biographical statements from the winners below.

Ariel Berry is studying English and literature at the graduate level. She has a concentration in creative writing, focusing on fiction, although she enjoys writing creative nonfiction and poetry as well. Berry took second place in the Master’s-level fiction category.

Denise Bickford, a native of Winterport, is currently finishing her final year as an undergraduate English and anthropology major. Currently, she fills her time working at the university’s infant and toddler program, the Collins Center for the Arts, and as poetry editor for the Open Field undergraduate literary magazine. On top of her jobs and her schoolwork, she sorts bones from Dr. West’s zooarchaeology research on Chirikof Island, Alaska. When she finds spare time, she enjoys writing for herself, as well as drawing and spending time on the trails. She plans on taking a year off before applying to grad school in the fall of 2013. Bickford took first place in the Bachelor’s-level poetry category.

Katie Fuller grew up in western Maine and graduated from Colby College in 2006. She continued to work, study, and write while living along the Maine coast and during her travels. She is a first-year graduate teaching assistant in the Master of Arts in English program at the University, and is thankful to be near friends and family. Fuller took second place in the Master’s-level poetry category.

Madelyn Kearns is a fourth-year Mass Communication and English double major contending with her final 22 credits in a single-semester swoop. She is the opinion editor for The Maine Campus newspaper, and a loyal communications minion for the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. If fortune is kind, a career in publishing and a chance to further her skills as a poet/writer both await her. Despite wracked nerves, she looks forward to reading at the same podium that has bolstered so much talent over the years. Kearns took second place in the Bachelor’s-level poetry category.

Jacob Kempfert is completing his Master’s Degree with a concentration in Creative Writing/Fiction this year. He is one of the founding members of the Fictionshark movement. His play “The Accusing Parlor” is soon to be published by Breaking Fourth Plays and Press. He took first place in the Master’s-level fiction category.

Samuel Lavoie is a representative of Frenchville, Maine, a town perhaps most famous for its absolute obscurity. Despite the connotations, he is unable to speak French, and so has instead settled for the English version of everything. Along with Creative Writing, he studies European History and, until recently, Business Administration, which he has since shunned for being too dark and cynical, as well as meshing rather poorly with Proust. He writes fiction and music in his spare time, but will not sing if you ask him to, and will read only if boxed into a corner or cube. He will be graduating in May, hoping to apply for Graduate school at some point in the future. Lavoie took second place in the Bachelor’s-level fiction category.

Lydia McOscar wants to be literary and also find a job, in that order. She divides her time disproportionately between reading, which is always wonderful, and writing, which never gets easier. McOscar took first place in the Bachelor’s-level fiction category.

Jason Mitchell was born in Camden, New Jersey. He is a Graduate Assistant to the National Poetry Foundation and second-year Master’s student in the English department. He previously attended Rutgers University, where he graduated with a degree in Art History. Mitchell took first place in the Master’s-level poetry category.

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On Facebook? Consider joining the NWS group here. The UMaine New Writing Series is sponsored by the English Department and the National Poetry Foundationwith support from the Lloyd H. Elliott fund, the Milton Ellis Memorial Fund, the Honors College, and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the Pulp & Paper Foundation for the use of the Soderberg Center. FMI contact Steve Evans at steven dot evans at maine dot edu or at 207-581-3818. If you have a disability that may require accommodation for a NWS event, please contact Ann Smith in the office of Disability Support Service, 121 East Annex, 581-2319 (Voice) or 581-2311 (TDD).