INDIANOLA – Student authors and poets added a new state title to East Mississippi Community College’s list this year: Best Literary Magazine.
“Syzygy,” EMCC’s annual collection of poems, short stories, plays, essays, art work and various writings, took the top spot at the Mississippi Community College Creative Writing Association’s 2013 State Competition in March. In addition to earning the overall award at the ceremony held at Mississippi Delta Community College’s Indianola campus, EMCC students took the top two spots in the poetry category and the top spot in the one-act play category.
Benjamin Stephens of Columbus penned the top one-act play “A Chance Meeting.” Jennifer Dott of Cedar Bluff earned first place in poetry with her piece “Tide.” And Dane McCulloch of Eupora earned second place in poetry with “War and Piece.”
“The Creative Writing program continues to grow at EMCC and to be a vital part of academia and personal development for our students. Derrick Conner (EMCC’s Scooba campus Creative Writing instructor) and I are often amazed at the potential and the talent that such young students display. We could not be happier with the direction of this program,” said EMCC Golden Triangle campus Creative Writing instructor Marilyn Ford.
“And it’s a fantastic boon for academics to know that we, too, have state winners.”
Stephens said his best-in-state play, which details a heated confrontation between two men following an accusation of theft, was refined with the help of his Creative Writing classmates.
“Winning was a feeling of utter disbelief but also of vindication. I was proud of my own efforts and the class in the sense that it was due to their encouragement and criticism that I was able to produce such a thing in the first place,” he said.
The issue of Syzygy which won the 2013 MCCCWA overall award was actually published in 2012. However, the individual writing awards won by Stephens, Dott and McCullough appeared in the 2013 edition of Syzygy, published in March.
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