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National Student Literary Competition Winners Announced


The winners of the 2009-2010 Student Literary Competition, hosted by Lane Community College and coordinated by Johnnie Mazzocco were recently announced. The First Place awards were presented to Sandra Yee, Phoenix College, for a short story titled “Empty Bamboo”; Eryn Paull, South Seattle Community College, for an essay titled “Essay of Confession”; Sandra Yee, Phoenix College, for a poem titled “My Pagan Grandmother Goes to Heaven”; and Diana Love, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, for her one-act play titled “Authors.”

The Second Place awards were won by Michael Prestia, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, for a short story titled, “Turcot Yards”; Cassandra Anderson, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, for an essay titled “The Talk”; Sharon Cozzolino, Kirkwood Community College for a poem titled “Dying Clean”; and James Haupt, Anne Arundel Community College, for a one-act play titled “Levitate.”

The Third Place awards were given to Jesse Furgurson, Anne Arundel Community College, for a short story titled “Clean and Joyous Living”; James Flanagan, Anne Arundel Community College, for an essay titled “The Third Mouse or Why I Left New York”; Lucas Barker, Cuyahoga Community College, for a poem titled “Detour”; and Amy E. Rosales, Johnson County Community College, for the one-act play, “Drop Dead”

Honorable mention was given to Cynthia Graham, St. Louis Community College, for a short story titled “An Ugly Woman,” and Jessica Redell, Dallas County Community College District, for her one-act play titled “Temple Connections.”

Under the leadership of Lane Community College, the competition included 55 literary works from League colleges. A catalog of all entries is currently being produced by Lane Community College and will be mailed to all League members this fall.

The jurors for this year’s Student Literary Competition were Diana Abu-Jaber (Short Story); Elizabeth Woody (Poem/Poetry); Paul Calandrino (One-Act Play); and Laurie Lynn Drummond (Personal Essay).

Diana Abu-Jaber’s memoir, The Language of Baklava, won the Northwest Booksellers’ Award was excerpted in Best American Food Writing, and was featured as a Border’s Discover pick. Her novel, Crescent, won the PEN Center Award for Literary fiction and the American Book Award. It was also named a Notable Book of the Year by the Christian Science Monitor. Her first novel, Arabian Jazz won the Oregon Book award. Elizabeth Woody, has published poetry, short fiction, essays, and is a visual artist. Her first collection of poetry, Hand Into Stone received a 1990 American Book Award. Her second and third collections of writing were published in 1994, Luminaries of the Humble, by the University of Arizona Press, and Seven Hands, Seven Hearts, Prose and Poetry by The Eighth Mountain Press. Paul Calandrino is an award-winning Northwest playwright and actor. His full-length play The Final Leg won the Northwest Playwrights Festival and the Lakewood Theatre Playwriting Competition, both in 2005. Other full-length plays include I Hear America Barking (runner-up in the Lakewood Theatre competition in 2007), and The Nincompoop. He is currently at work on a historical drama concerning two key figures in Kenya’s struggle for independence. John Lane’s collection of linked stories, Anything You Say Can and Will be Used Against You (HarperCollins 2004), received starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal; it was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and won the Best Book Award from the Texas Institute of Letters and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers’ League of Texas. One of her stories, “Something About a Scar,” won the 2005 Edgar Award for Best Short Story. Her essays, several of which have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and cited in Best American Essays, have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Brevity, and River Teeth. A recipient of a 2008 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Literary Nonfiction, Drummond is working on a memoir, Losing My Gun, and a novel, Memories of the Living, Lives of the Dead.

The 2010-2011 competition will be hosted by the San Diego Community College District and coordinated by Karen Lim.