CSU English Department Establishes McCullers Awards for Student Writers

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Department of English today announced the first-ever Carson McCullers Literary Awards for Georgia high school and CSU students, setting a Feb. 1 deadline for inaugural entries.

“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to support and showcase exceptional work by young writers,” said Carmen Skaggs, chair of CSU’s English department. “The Carson McCullers Literary Awards will be an annual celebration of talent and skill, and it’s our hope that they’ll help to foster a vibrant literary tradition in Columbus and across the state.”

The four awards that will be given in four categories are:

  • The Brick Road Greear Prize for Poetry
  • The Paul Hackett Award for Creative Nonfic­tion
  • The Orlene Jones Poulsen Award for Fiction
  • The Naartjie Multimedia Award for Expository Writing

Each cat­egory will have four awards: two for Columbus State students and two for Georgia high school students. First-place winners in each category will receive $150, and their entries will be published in Arden, CSU’s award-winning literary journal. Honorable mention win­ners in each category will receive $100.

Entries are due Feb. 1, and winners will be announced in early March. On April 1, CSU will hold an awards reception and dinner fea­turing poet and nonfiction writer Sandra Beasley. Winners will receive their prizes then.

Students may submit up to three works in the poetry category and up to 2,500 words in the other categories. Students may submit once in each category, using the online submission form that’s at the English department website, http://ColumbusState.edu/English. There’s no entry fee, but participants must be registered for classes at CSU or attend a Chattahoochee Valley or Georgia high school.

The awards’ namesake, Carson Mc­Cullers, was born Lula Carson Smith on Feb. 19, 1917 in Columbus. Best-known for her novels — The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Member of the Wedding, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Clock Without Hands — McCullers was also a playwright and a short story writer. Her body of work also includes two plays, 20 short stories, over two dozen nonfiction pieces, a book of children’s verse, a few poems and an unfinished auto­biography. McCullers died Sept. 29, 1967 at age 50. CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, located in the author’s childhood home at 1519 Stark Ave., is dedicated to preserving her legacy.

For more information about the awards, contact: Skaggs at 706-569-2583 or skaggs_carmen@ColumbusState.edu.

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