2022 UW-Madison Creative Writing Prizes

Video for Hart Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Hill Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Wang Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Muller Fiction Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Mackaman Award (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!)
Video for Muller Nonfiction Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Garfield Prize (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Undergraduate Thesis Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Graduate Teaching Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!) Video for Graduate Writing Awards (click email’s ‘LOAD IMAGES’ button!)

2022 UW-Madison Creative Writing Prizes

The Program in Creative Writing at UW-Madison is pleased to announce this year’s undergraduate and graduate scholarship prize recipients. We expect to revive the tradition of our in-person ceremony next year, where we’ll reveal the winners live. But in the meantime, if you prefer a slightly more dramatic reveal of this year’s winners, please stop reading this email and instead click the video links above.

We want you to know how proud we are of each of you—not just those who won prizes, and not just those who submitted, but every student who sat in our classrooms, or who logged into Canvas and Zoom this year. Whether or not you received an award, we hope you’ll remember that your words and your creativity matter. If you know some of this year’s winners, please take a moment today to reach out to them in whatever way you can, to extend your congratulations.

Charles M. Hart Jr. Writers of Promise Awards

Established in 1993 by Janet Hart and named for her son, who won a George B. Hill Poetry Prize the year before he passed away, the Charles M. Hart Jr. Writers of Promise Awards are meant to encourage emerging writers from our ENGL 207 introductory poetry and fiction workshops. The 30th annual Hart awards were judged by the instructors of those workshops: Megan Kim, Renee LePreau, Caleb Parker, Aurora Shimshak, Mandy Tu, & Amanda Rizkalla.

Madeline Mitchell — First Place — $500
Shala Pacheco — Second Place — $200
Lily Cain — Third Place — $100
Jasper Huegerich — Honorable Mention — $50
AJ Johnson — Honorable Mention — $50
Gabrielle Watry — Honorable Mention — $50

The Phillip H. Wang Memorial Prize in Poetry

Established in 2020, the Phillip H. Wang Memorial Prize in Poetry is the largest prize we award for a sampling of three poems written by an undergraduate student. The prize honors Phillip Wang, who received his B.A in English at UW-Madison and passed away in 2019. The Phillip H. Wang Memorial Prize in Poetry is funded by Phillip’s memorial foundation, which was created by his family to encourage self-expression and exploration of difficult topics through poetry. The prize is often given to an applicant who submits an audio recording of their poems, in addition to the required written sample, because Phillip enjoyed the spoken-word aspect of poetry. To learn more about the life and work of Phillip Wang, including audio recordings of Phillip’s poetry, we encourage you to visit philliphwangmemorialfoundation.com. This year, Hoffman-Halls Emerging Artist Fellow in Poetry Adrienne Chung judged that the second annual Phillip H. Wang Memorial Prize in Poetry should go to:

Zack Lesmeister — First Place — $1,000
Azura Tyabji — Runner-Up — $500

George B. Hill Poetry Prizes

2022 marks the 71st year we’ve awarded the George B. Hill Poetry Prizes, which were created by former Brachs Candy Company president Theodore Stempfel, in memory of his dear friend and former UW-Madison classmate George Bradbury Hill. This year, the awards were judged by Hoffman-Halls Emerging Artist Fellow in Poetry Adrienne Chung.

Sarah Abbas — First Place — $400
Corina Robinson — Second Place — $250
Bess Henshaw — Honorable Mention — $100
Sophie Hougland — Honorable Mention — $100
Madeline Mitchell — Honorable Mention — $100
Shala Pacheco — Honorable Mention — $100
Samuel Wood — Honorable Mention — $100

Henry Douglas Mackaman Undergraduate Writer’s Award

For seven years now, the Henry Douglas Mackaman Undergraduate Writer’s Award has been our largest prize for a single story written by an undergraduate at UW-Madison. The story of Henry Mackaman is both joyous and sad: he was one of UW’s most promising young writers, as well as a guitarist, a lyricist, and a beloved brother and son, who died unexpectedly from bacterial meningitis in 2013. Henry’s family and friends set up this prize in his honor, awarding at least $1,000 every year, in perpetuity. To learn more about the life and work of Henry Mackaman, we encourage you to visit henrymackaman.com. This year, James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow Claire Luchette judged that the seventh annual Mackaman Award should go to:

Madeline Mitchell — $1,000

Therese Muller Fiction & Creative Nonfiction Prizes

2022 marks the 71st year we’ve awarded the Therese Muller Fiction Prizes, and the third year we’ve awarded the Therese Muller Nonfiction Prizes. Both were named for a teacher of literature and law, famous francophile, and favorite daughter of Sauk City, who graduated from UW in 1912. Like the Henry Douglas Mackaman Undergraduate Writer’s Award, the Therese Muller Fiction Prizes were judged by James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow Claire Luchette. The Therese Muller Nonfiction Prizes were judged by Hoffman-Halls Emerging Artist Fellow Itiola (I.S.) Jones.

Ella Deitz — First Place (F) — $500
Bess Henshaw — Second Place (F) — $250
Seanna Bednarek — Honorable Mention (F) — $100
Ria Dhingra — Honorable Mention (F) — $100
Gwendolyn Liston — Honorable Mention (F) — $100
Jackson Neal — Honorable Mention (F) — $100
Annabella Rosciglione — Honorable Mention (F) — $100

Jackson Neal — First Place (CNF) — $1,000
Casey Olson — Second Place (CNF) — $500
Natalie Bercutt — Third Place (CNF) — $250
Amanda Jentsch — Honorable Mention (CNF) — $100
Duke Johnson — Honorable Mention (CNF) — $100

Ronald Wallace Poetry Thesis Prize

The Ronald Wallace Poetry Thesis Prize is named for and funded by the founder of our program, who spent 43 years of his life establishing UW as one of the foremost undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate creative writing programs in the United States, before his retirement in 2015. Fittingly, this year’s Wallace Prize was judged by the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellow named in his honor: Ronald Wallace Poetry Fellow K. Iver:

Samuel Wood, for the manuscript To Hold the Carving Knife — $1,000

Eudora Welty Fiction Thesis Prize

The Eudora Welty Fiction Thesis Prize was established 32 years ago by Jane Perrin, to honor one of America’s most distinguished and revered fiction writers, whose accolades include a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a Nobel Prize nomination, and most prestigious of all: a Bachelor of Arts degree from UW-Madison. Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow Alberto Reyes Morgan judged this year’s Eudora Welty Fiction Thesis Prize, as follows:

Valerie Foley, for “How the Hurricane Spirals” and other stories — $1,000

Cy Howard Memorial Scholarship Thesis Prize

The Cy Howard Memorial Scholarship Thesis Prize was established by Barbara Howard, a great friend to UW-Madison’s Program in Creative Writing. The Prize honors her husband Cy, who was a UW graduate and a writer for film and television. The Howard Thesis Prize can go to any genre: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenplays, dramatic monologues… the list goes on. This year, the Howard goes to a nonfiction manuscript, selected by Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows K. Iver and Alberto Reyes Morgan.

Casey Olson, for the essay collection Thoughts and Feelings — $1,000

Richard Knowles & Jerome Stern Teaching Awards

Each year, the Program in Creative Writing celebrates the teaching expertise of its MFA candidates in poetry and fiction, through two prizes. The Richard Knowles Teaching Award is named for Professor Emeritus Dick Knowles, who taught creative writing at UW long before the creative writing program even existed. The Knowles Award acknowledges excellence in the instruction of “ENGL 207: Intro to Creative Writing.” But our MFA candidates also teach composition courses at UW, so in addition to the Knowles Award we also give out the Jerome Stern Teaching Award for excellence in the instruction of ENGL 100: Intro to College Composition. This second prize is named for a longtime professor, writer, editor, radio personality, bon vivant, and friend to UW, Jerome Stern. This year, the Creative Writing Steering Committee selected the following recipients:

Aurora Shimshak — Knowles Teaching Award — $500
Martha Pham — Stern Teaching Award — $500

Johanna Garfield Award in Nonfiction Creative Writing

Awarding $2,500 for an essay that draws from the author’s personal experience, the Johanna Garfield Award in Nonfiction Creative Writing was established in 2020 to honor Johanna Garfield, whose articles and essays appear in The New York Times, The New York Observer, The Paris Review, Newsday, Ms., and many other prestigious publications. To learn more about the life and work of Johanna Garfield, we encourage you to visit jogarfield.com. This year, the prize was judged by Megan O’Gieblyn, author of God Human Animal Machine and Interior States:

Megan Kim, for “Fault Line” — $2,500

August Derleth Graduate Creative Writing Prize

The Derleth Prize is named for a beloved Wisconsin native who authored hundreds of books comprising every genre imaginable—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, plays, etc.—though August Derleth is perhaps most famous today for being the first book publisher of H. P. Lovecraft. The prize goes to “students demonstrating special interest in Wisconsin regional literature, or one of the other writing genres to which August Derleth contributed.” This year, the prize was judged by Xandria Phillips, author of the poetry collection HULL. The Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s August Derleth Graduate Creative Writing Prize is:

Megan Kim, for “In the Valley of Your Making and Unmaking” and other poems — $2,500

William W. Marr Graduate Prize in Creative Writing

Established six years ago by the family of renowned poet, writer, artist, nuclear engineer, and UW alumnus Dr. William Marr (who publishes under the name Fei Ma), this prize acknowledges excellence among UW-Madison’s MFA candidates in creative writing. This year the prize was judged by Kate Wisel, author of Driving in Cars with Homeless Men. The Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s William W. Marr Graduate Scholarship Prize in Creative Writing is:

Madeline Curtis, for the story “Ghost Trap” — $2,500

 

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