Four Georgia Students Win Agnes Scott’s 43rd Annual Writers’ Festival Contest
Friday, April 4, 2014
Four Georgia college students are the winners of the writing competition portion of Agnes Scott College’s 43rd Annual Writers’ Festival (March 27-28), the oldest continuous literary event in Georgia.
Each year, student writers from Georgia colleges and universities submit their poetry, nonfiction, fiction and one-act plays to the Writers’ Festival contest. Agnes Scott publishes the finalists’ works in the festival magazine, and the visiting writers award prizes for the best work in each category. All finalists attend a workshop with one of the visiting writers.
Jessica Melilli-Hand of Georgia State University was the winner in the poetry category for “13 Black Birds Looking at Away.” Agnes Scott first-year Vivian A. Phillips took top honors in the nonfiction category for “As Fit As a Thimble.” Christopher Hayter, also of Georgia State University, won the fiction category for “Dig.” Stella Lingcong Zhou, a junior at Agnes Scott, topped the one-act play category with “Matilda.”
The college received 432 entries this year from 112 students representing 15 colleges, said Nicole Stamant, assistant professor of English at Agnes Scott who oversaw entries for the competition.
The festival continued to ramp up its efforts to promote the contest, particularly on social media, thanks to the help of Maggie Berardo, an Agnes Scott senior who orchestrated the festival’s Facebook communications and blog.
The visiting writers for this year’s festival, who judged the entries and conducted a workshop with contest finalists, were Nick Flynn, Terrance Hayes and Louisa Hill, a 2009 alumna of Agnes Scott. Flynn is an acclaimed poet and memoirist; Hayes is a celebrated poet; and Hill is an award-winning playwright.
Held annually since 1972, Agnes Scott’s Writers’ Festival brings nationally acclaimed writers to campus in an atmosphere of community with student writers from the colleges and universities of Georgia. While on campus, distinguished guests give public readings, award prizes in the festival’s statewide literary competition and conduct workshops for finalists in the competition.
Past visiting writers to the festival include Eudora Welty, Julia Alvarez, Anita Desai, Junot Diaz, Suzan-Lori Parks, Percival Everett, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, Michael S. Harper and Marsha Norman ’69x, H’05.
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.