2023 Creative Writing Prize Winners

Please join the Department of English and Creative Writing in congratulating the 2023 Creative Writing Prize winners!

The 2023 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. in Sanborn Library, and will include readings from prize winners and this year's judge, JoAnn Wypijewski.

JoAnn Wypijewski is a writer and editor based in New York. She has written for numerous magazines, including The Nation, where she was an editor from 1982 to 2000. Her latest book is an essay collection, What We Don't Talk About: Sex and the Mess of Life (Verso, 2020/21). Among the many books she has edited or contributed to, the most recent is Zapatista Stories for Dreaming An-Other World (PM, 2022), the Colectivo Relámpago's English translation of allegorical tales by Subcomandante Marcos, for which she also wrote the foreword. She is on the editorial committee of the New Left Review, has collaborated with photographers and filmmakers in the US and UK, has received a number of honors for her writing, and co-founded, with John Scagliotti, the Kopkind Colony, a summer seminar/retreat project in Vermont for political journalists, activists and documentary filmmakers. From 2015 to 2017 she held the honorary chair of Belle Zeller Visiting Professor at Brooklyn College. She is currently resuming work on a book for Farrar Straus titled Valiant, journeys through America in a time of crack-up.

2023 Creative Writing Prize Winners

The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize, offered annually for that piece of undergraduate writing which most nearly meets those high standards of originality and integrity which Sidney Cox set for himself and for his students in his teaching and in his book, Indirections for Those Who Want to Write:

  • Grace Boyd, "Don't Moo Over Spilt Milk"
  • Claire Callahan, "Camp Sunny Lake: Chapter One"
  • Migwi Mwangi, "The Tamarind Oracle"
  • Payton Weiner, "you left"

The Academy of American Poets Prize, for the best poem or group of poems:

  • Edgar Morales, "Swim"

The Jacobson-Laing Award in Poetry, for the best manuscript of original poems:

  • Eliza Dunn, "Homecoming"
  • Gabriel Gilbert, Old Mana, New Suns

The Mecklin Prize, for creative nonfiction or journalism:

  • Yevheniia Dubrova, "All That Cracking"

Honorable Mention:

  • Jennifer Chen, "Angel Island"
  • Anne Johnakin, "What a Shame She Went Mad"
  • Shaphnah McKenzie, "You Might as Well Be American"
  • Michelle Mulé, "Love, Priscila, and the Death of Childhood"

The Grimes Prize, for any form of writing by a senior except plays:

  • Ava Koros, "Greek Orthodox Lesbians Wear Pants to Church"
  • Migwi Mwangi, "Contra Suture"

Honorable Mention:

  • Amana Hill, "Christmas on Joy Street: Chapter 7"

The Lockwood Prize, for any form of writing by a junior except plays:

  • Laurel Lee Pitts, "Split"
  • Tonia Zakorchemna, "a flatter one i think"

Honorable Mention:

  • Katherine Arrington, "What Women Talk About When Nobody Is Listening"
  • Joseph Fausey, "After the Fire: Chapter 1"

William C. Spengemann Award in Writing, for a work of prose or poetry distinguished by its formal precision, as well as its original, innovative, or iconoclastic approach to its subject matter:

  • Julia Shen, "A series of supermarket produce"
  • Zhuangzhuang Tan, "The Young of the Boys"

Honorable Mention:

  • Clay Socas, "The Space between the Stars"
  • Amina Zoklat, "a mousetrap[ed]"

Erskine Caldwell Prize, for a short story:

  • Laurel Lee Pitts, "Split"

Honorable Mention:

  • Kendall Milender, "What Sometimes Happens to an Orchard"