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English in the News

Graduate Student Creative Writing Awards Winners Announced

The Department would like to congratulate the winners of our annual Graduate Student Creative Writing Awards. Please join us in recognizing them for their outstanding writing.


First Place: "Mother, a Digital Triptych" by Emily Moeck 

Second Place: "sonnet for my prefrontal cortex" by Casey Smith 

Third Place: "Parts of an Autobiography" by Kate Wright 



First Place: "Bootstraps, Pull Yourself Up" by Emily Moeck 

Second Place: "Quality Control" by Shane Stricker 

Third Place: "A Liturgy of Teeth" by Joshua Allen Sorrells 


This year's judges were:

Fiction: Caleb Jonhson

Caleb Johnson’s first novel, Treeborne (Picador), received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize. His writing can be found in The Bitter Southerner, The Carolina Quarterly and The Paris Review, among other places. Caleb studied journalism and art history at the University of Alabama and earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Wyoming. He has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Jentel Writing Residency. He teaches writing at Appalachian State University.  


Poetry: Emily Skaja

Emily Skaja’s first book, BRUTE (Graywolf), won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets She holds an MFA from Purdue University and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Cincinnati. Her poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD and the New York Times Magazine. She is the winner of an AWP Intro Journals Award, an Academy of American Poets College Prize, and a 2019-2020 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at the University of Memphis.