Five Georgia College Students Winners of Agnes Scott’s 40th Annual Writers’ Festival Contest

Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Georgia college students are this year’s winners in the writing competition portion of Agnes Scott College’s 40th Annual Writers’ Festival, March 31-April 1.

Brittani Banks, an Agnes Scott senior, won the top prize in the one-act play category with her play, Orbiting Space. Joanna Carver, also an Agnes Scott senior, won in the creative nonfiction category with her work titled, Something That Doesn’t End. Jessica D. Hand, a graduate student at Georgia State University, was the first place winner in the poetry category with her work titled, Pain Jane. Jen Pirkle, a graduate student at Georgia College & State University won in fiction with her story titled, Guber County Bats. Roger Sollenberger, a graduate student at Georgia College & State University was the winner of the newly- added song writing category with his song, Want No More.

Each year, student writers from Georgia colleges and universities submit their fiction, poetry, personal essays and one-act plays to the Writers’ Festival contest. Agnes Scott publishes the finalists’ works in the festival magazine, and the visiting writers award prizes for the best work in each category. All finalists attend a workshop with one of the visiting writers.

Visiting writers for this year’s Writer’s Festival included Jennifer Nettles, a songwriter and one half of the Grammy-winning country duo Sugarland; Danzy Senna, author of Caucasia; and Arda Collins, an accomplished poet and winner of the the 2008 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize.

Held annually since 1972, Agnes Scott’s Writers’ Festival brings nationally acclaimed writers to campus in an atmosphere of community with student writers from the colleges and universities of Georgia. While on campus, distinguished guests give public readings, award prizes in the festival’s statewide literary competition and conduct workshops for finalists in the competition.

Banks, a native of Decatur, will graduate from Agnes Scott with a major in English literature and creative writing and a minor in women’s studies. She has a passion for children’s literature and writes fictional short stories and plays.

Carver, from Scottsdale, Ariz., will graduate this spring with a degree in creative writing and English literature. She often works in fiction, focusing on family drama and dark comedy, though she’s recently been experimenting with science fiction and nonfiction.

Hand received her B.A. in creative writing and psychology from Carnegie Mellon. She has been published in The Minnesota Review, Redactions and The Cortland Review, among others. She won first place in the 2008 Agnes Scott Poetry Competition.

Pirkle graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in writing and linguistics. She works as the assistant fiction editor for Arts and Letters. Her passion lies with science fiction and comics.

Sollenberger, a writer and musician, is working toward an M.F.A. in fiction from Georgia College & State University.

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.