NORTH CAROLINA— The North Carolina Writers’ Network has announced the winners of its four annual spring literary awards, granting over $2,000 in prize money as part of its continuing mission to foster the literary arts in the Tar Heel State.
Kristin Fitzpatrick of Alameda, California, won the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story, “Queen City Playhouse.” Fitzpatrick, the 2009-2010 Writer-in-Residence at The Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, Ohio, received $1,000, and her story will be considered for publication in a forthcoming issue of The Thomas Wolfe Review.
“Great story, amazing characters, excellent conceit,” summarized final judge Martin Clark. The acclaimed author of three bestselling novels, Clark chose “Queen City Playhouse” from more than 140 entries—the most in the competition’s history.
Thomas Wolf of Chapel Hill won the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for his short story “Boundaries.” Wolf received a prize of $250, and his story will be published in the 2012 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review. This is Wolf’s second Doris Betts Fiction Prize—he also won in 2007 with his short story, “Distance.”
“The impressive power of the winning story, ‘Boundaries,’ comes from the quiet longing with which it is told,” said author and final judge Liza Wieland. “‘Boundaries’ shows us quite brilliantly the truth of Faulkner’s notion of the past—that it is never dead, and not even past.”
Rocky Point resident Pepper Capps Hill penned the winning essay for the 2011 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. Hill, a museum educator at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, won $300 and publication in Southern Cultures for her essay, “There’s No Crying in a Tobacco Field.”
“This essay took me into a world I barely knew—a North Carolina tobacco field,” said author and final judge Jay Varner. “Here is a piece wrestling with the hard lessons learned plucking leaves from the field and longterm medical concerns these former tobacco kids could face.”
Author and longtime Charlotte Observer writer Dannye Romine Powell won the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem “I Am the Girl.” Powell received $200, and her winning poem—selected from close to 100 entries—will be considered for publication in the literary journal The Crucible.
“It’s a poem strongly driven by voice and idea,” said final judge and poet Dan Albergotti. “I love how this deceptively simple poem navigates what is actually highly complex at the level of syntax, temporality, perspective, and emotion.”
The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors the work and legacy of the poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
The same is true for both the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition (which honors the longtime Salisbury Post columnist) and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize (honoring the author and Alumni Distinguished Professor Emerita at UNC Chapel Hill of the same name).
Two honorable mentions were awarded for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which honors the internationally acclaimed novelist and North Carolina native and accepts submissions from writers regardless of geographic location: Lisa Gornick of New York, New York, for her short story “Eleanor,” and Barbara Modrack of Brighton, Michigan, for “Gone.” Joseph Cavano’s short story, “The Honey Wagon,” won second-place in the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize, while the poem “From Dry Seed Casings” by Mary Jo Amani was named runner-up for the 2011 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition.
Prizes of $200 and $100 were awarded to the second- and third-place 2011 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition finishers—or in this case, finisher. Davidson writer Cynthia Lewis collected both consolation prizes for her essays, “That Dress, That Hat” and “Secret Sharing: Coming Out in Charleston.”
The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.