Five Georgia Students Win Agnes Scott’s 41st Annual Writers’ Festival Contest

Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Georgia college students are the winners of the writing competition portion of Agnes Scott College’s 41st Annual Writers’ Festival (March 29-30), the oldest continuous literary event in Georgia.

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.

Christine Swint, a graduate student studying poetry and creative writing at Georgia State University, was the winner in the poetry category for “Learning to Pray in Spanish.” Two Agnes Scott students tied for top honors in the personal essay category, junior Anna Cabe for “Two Fountains” and sophomore Keely Lewis for “On the Ward.” Robert Mynatt, a senior at Oglethorpe University, won the fiction category for “That Sounds Like a Great Band Name.” Phoebe Perry, a sophomore at Agnes Scott, topped the drama category for “The Qi To Success.”

The college received a record 523 entries this year from about 150 students representing a record 21 colleges, said Rachel Trousdale, associate professor of English at Agnes Scott who oversees entries for the competition.

“Word of mouth has been great and the contest has seen a steady expansion,” Trousdale said. “I think the word is definitely getting out.”

The festival successfully ramped up its efforts to promote the contest, particularly on social media, thanks to the help of Bhumi Patel, an Agnes Scott student who orchestrated the festival’s Facebook and Twitter communications and the festival’s blog.

The visiting writers for this year’s festival, who judged the entries and conducted a workshop with contest finalists, were Benjamin Percy, Joy Harjo and Jacqueline Pardue Goldfinger, an alumna of Agnes Scott. Percy is an acclaimed novelist and short story author; Harjo is a celebrated Native-American poet; and Goldfinger is an award-winning playwright.

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.

Past visiting writers to the festival include Eudora Welty, Julia Alvarez, Anita Desai, Junot Diaz, Suzan-Lori Parks, Percival Everett, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, Michael S. Harper and Marsha Norman ’69x, H’05.

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.