Creative Writing Awards recognize student writers

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    This year’s Creative Writing Awards celebrated student writers and their achievements, with over 100 more student submissions than last year.

    A rigorous application and judging process culminated Tuesday night in the 2014 Creative Writing Awards, with prizes awarded in 26 categories.

    The yearly award ceremony, hosted by assistant professor of English and the Chair of the Creative Writing Committee Matthew Pitt, was a chance to award prizes in creative writing and also allow students to read from their original works.

    “The work represented tonight reflects not merely high output, but high ambition and high accomplishment,” said Pitt in his introduction.

    The evening began with the presentation of the Sandra Brown Excellence in Literary Fiction Award, a two-year full-tuition scholarship presented to rising junior Aubrey Fineout. The award was presented by Chancellor Victor Boschini, with Brown and Fineout making comments as well.

    The ceremony continued with the presentation of the award winners in all 26 award categories. Several award winners also had the opportunity to read their work aloud.

    Each award category is judged by various published authors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous. Submissions were finalized in February.

    Some students received awards in multiple categories. Carrie Tippen, an English doctorate student, won three awards.

    “I did creative writing all through my Master’s degree. I’ve taken creative writing at TCU, and it’s something that I continue to do,” she said. “I like a good reason to write, and the awards are always a great reason to keep writing.”

    Overall, the event was an opportunity to showcase student writing and receive recognition for hard work, as well as to give writers constructive criticism.

    “It’s always nice to receive validation for things. It’s a character growth thing too,” said sophomore award-winner Abigail Buckley. “It’s honestly really good for a writer because it allows us to get out of our comfort zone.”

    Many winners brought family with them to celebrate.

    “We are so proud of Abby that she was selected,” said Melissa Mathis, mother of Buckley. “Oddly enough, she had a hard time learning to read when she was very young. After fifth grade, she became a voracious reader and writer.”