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Writing and Linguistics students awarded at annual competition

The Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University took many top honors at this year’s Roy F. Powell Awards for Creative Writing.
 
In poetry, Naima Ozier won for “Sacred,” “Sunbathing,” and “(Venus, Horatius, and Aeneas).” Kyera Swint was the runner-up for this category.
 
The winner in fiction was Michael Chestnut for his short story “Last Call.” Runners-up were James Morton and Chad Sanderson.
 
Kayla Whaley won the creative nonfiction category for “More ThanGreen,” and Jackson Sharpe was the runner-up.
 
The winners will receive a cash award of $100.00, a framed award certificate, and recognition at the University’s Honors Day ceremonies on April 4. In addition, their work will be published in Miscellany, the campus literary arts magazine. The winning manuscripts were chosen from a large number of excellent submissions, according to faculty judges Emma Bolden (poetry), Laura Valeri (fiction), and Mary Marwitz (creative nonfiction).
 
Naima Ozier, a senior writing and linguistics major from Stone Mountain, Ga., cites Pablo Neruda and Toni Morrison as literary influences. The judge noted that Ozier’s poetry “swells and sings, carrying the reader through the lines of the poem and landing them carefully ashore.”
 
Michael Chestnut, from Savannah, Ga., is a freshman psychology major. He cites Stephen King, Ayn Rand, and George R.R. Martin as influences. The judge stated that what made Chestnut’s story stand out was “the imaginative premise and the surprising connections of physical sensations and memories. This was a fresh and original story, written with a strong sense of detail.”
 
Kayla Whaley, a first year graduate student studying public administration, is from Marietta, Ga. Her literary influences include John Green, Laini Taylor, MaryKarr, and Neil Gaiman. About Whaley’s essay, the judge wrote: “Whaley speaks in a clear voice about unrequited love — a difficult topic to pull off well, but she does it with restraint and delicate emotion.”
 
For more information, please contact Eric Nelson at 478-5566.
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