Congratulations to our 2023 Creative Writing Scholarship Winners!

December 13, 2023
Congratulations Scholarship Winners with graduation cap in the background

We are announcing our Creative Writing 2023 scholarship winners! Competition was fierce, and we are proud to announce the following winners!


$100 Anne Fields Poetry Contest
Zoe Sparks for Building Graves.


$100 Clark Gross Award in the Novel - external judge Nawaaz Ahmed
Minyoung Lee for The Deep Purple

“The Deep Purple” is engrossing not only for the uniqueness of its focus, an offshore drilling rig, or for the tragedy it recounts, an impending explosion that will kill some of the crew, or for the diversity of viewpoints that it so convincingly captures. “The Deep Purple” is also a clear-eyed yet tender exploration of the dreams and desires of ordinary Americans caught in the coils of corporate America, the compromises and sacrifices they’re forced to make, and the cost to themselves and their families. Looming in the background is corporate greed and callousness that can endanger a planet. The novel’s ambitions appear vast while remaining firmly grounded in the commonplace of its protagonists’ experiences and the specificity of their environments, elevating these to mythic status. I eagerly look forward to encountering this novel out in the world.


$100 Daniel Langton Poetry Prize
Jillian Allen for The Body & Its Other Forms

The affective energy this work activates in the reader is remarkable. Through repurposing form the poet reimagines possibilities for embodiment and dismemberment of the sources of pain. The body is both the object of violence and the mechanism for violence. Remarkable work. Poems at the pitch of the scream.


$7,500 Elizabeth June Madden-Zibman Creative Writing Endowed Scholarship
Andrew Pimentel for Doffing and Donning

Great community service and I thought the poem/essay was lovely, a thoughtful and engaging reflection on nursing, service, and the mother/child relationship.


$1,000 J.M. Highsmith Drama Award - external judge Adam Sussman
Clara Sperow for Pool

This is a delightful little slice of life that captures a lot in a few pages: the exuberance of being in a queer bar for the first time, the camaraderie in queer spaces, the awkwardness of making a pass at an intimidatingly hot person. It's a little slight, and there isn't much of an arc, but as a sketch it's marvelous.


$1,000 Joan Gelfand Creative Writing Scholarship
Abigail Carillo for East Los Blues

Tough, smart vernacular as the vehicle for imagination and insight.


$2,000 Kathryn A. Manoogian Scholarship in Creative Writing
Meilani Clay-Solomon for Scenes From Ordinary Life

Ambitious, committed and passionate poems—language powerful.


$2,500 Marcus Second Year Graduate Scholarship

  • Nithya Vesudevan for Vijaya Lakshmi-Goddess of Victory Over Obstacles: In Which An Intranational, Interracial, Interreligious, Bicultural Couple Plan for the Holidays

Ambitious, funny, smart writing and language.

  • Marco Morrone for Men Talking in Rooms

The second act veers apocalyptic in a gripping and surprisingly poignant way.

Wilner Award in Short Fiction - external judge Judy Juanita
Alder Duan Hurley for To be More Than a Good Daughter

Excellent from the first line to the last. Masterful. Bold choice of style, i.e. stream-of-consciousness.


Recruitment Scholarships!

Bernice Ruben Arnold Scholarship – Ha Kiet Chau & Marina Lee

The Marcus Recruitment Scholarship – Anastasia Le & Arina Sarwari-Stadnyk

Joe Brainard Scholarship – Chaela Williams & Agnes Librodo

Miriam Ylvisaker Fellowship – Tanya Prue