Winners honored at Creative Writing Awards

Elizabeth F. Abu | Apr 15, 2019

North Central Texas College honored some talented writers and poets at the annual Creative Writing Awards ceremony April 12 at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on the Gainesville campus.

The poems, short stories and essays recognized in Friday’s ceremony will be published in the 2019 issue of the college literary magazine, The April Perennial.

United States Marine Michael Jernigan was the guest speaker. Jernigan is a Marine who proudly served with Company E 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine regiment. On August 22, 2004, while on a deployment in Iraq, Michael's platoon was on patrol when it was hit by two 155mm artillery shells buried under the ground. The Improvised Explosive Device threw him 20 meters from their Humvee. Michael suffered life threatening and life changing injuries that day. 45% of his cranium was crushed in. He had shrapnel enter in his right eye and exit through his left eye, cutting everything in between. He had to have two fingers reattached and his left knee fully reconstructed. He fractured his patella and cut his femoral artery. Michael went through 30 major surgeries in the first 12 months and spent 16 months in hospitals and rehab facilities.

It has been thirteen years since the attack. Michael has taken his second chance at life and turned it into something that is never taken for granted. He volunteers his time whenever it is needed and always offers a helping hand. He has turned the most traumatic experience of his life into a life filled with a new purpose; to help others gain their vision. Michael’s favorite saying is, “It wasn’t until I lost my sight, that I gained my vision”. Too often people solely rely on their eyes to see, but miss out on life’s most precious moments, the ones you can’t see, but only feel. Michael truly embodies what it means to be a Marine, “honor, courage, commitment”.

NCTC Dean Dr. Bruce King then presented awards to the winners in attendance.

The Gifted Pen Poetry Contest is for Middle School students and is funded by the NCTC English Department. First place in this category went to Skye Clinton (Era Middle School), second place to Imza Khan (Briarhill Middle School), third place to Ashlton Bird (Navo Middle School) and Kenia Reyes-Steensma (Briarhill Middle School) and Nolan Ramsey (Era Middle School) both received honorable mention.

The Andy and Emily Klement Short Story Contest is for Middle School students and is funded by Andy and Emily Klement. First place in this category went to Gabriel Serna (Cedar Creek Homeschool), second place to Arabelle Graham (Navo Middle School), third place to Michaela Stallings (Homeschool), and Ryleigh Purnell (Sanger Middle School) and Rory Dulock (Lindsay Middle School) both received honorable mention.

Separating the Ordinary from the Extraordinary Essay Contest is for Middle School and High School students and is funded by Ray and Gabrielle Fletcher in honor of the Medal of Honor Recipients. In the Middle School category, first place in this category went to Hailey Turnage (Navo Middle School), second place to Tina Luo (McKamy Middle School), third place to Elijah Davis (Navo Middle School), and Hannah Blake (Navo Middle School) and Nathan Contreras (Navo Middle School) both received honorable mention.

In the High School category, first place went to Gianna Curless (Homeschool), second place to Jessie Payne (NCTC Gainesville), third place to Lindsey Bullard (NCTC Gainesville), and Keely Clark (NCTC Gainesville) received honorable mention.

The Keith G. King Contest in poetry for high school students is funded by Ms. Patsy Wilson in memory of Mr. King, an excellent friend to NCTC.

In the poetry contest, first place went to Tatum Earp (Argyle High School), second place to Isabella Hernandez (Flower Mound High School), third place to Bethany Walterscheid (Era High School), and honorable mention went to Kaili Gaston (St. Jo High School) and Ashlyn Seibert (Plano East High School).

The Brad Dill Memorial Contest in short fiction for high school students is funded by Mrs. Pat Dill King in memory of her son.

In the short story contest, first place went to Rachel Brown (Homeschool), second place to Gianna Curless (Homeschool), third place to Abigail Pierce (Flower Mound High School), and honorable mention went to Elizabeth West (Argyle High School) and Penelope Duran (Willy Brandt School, Houston).

The Creative Non-Fiction Contest and the Aspiring Poet Contest for NCTC students are both funded by Lary and Shelly Kuehn.

In the non-fiction category, first place went to Rut Rodriguez (NCTC Gainesville), second place to Brittany Whitmire (NCTC Corinth), and third place to Lauren Plewes (NCTC Gainesville).

In the poetry category, first place went to Emma Hendricks (NCTC Gainesville), second place to Konrad Sneed (NCTC Corinth), third place to Cristiana Galo (NCTC Corinth), and Ethan Cady (NCTC Flower Mound) and Destiny Flowal (NCTC Gainesville) both received honorable mention.

The Gerald Green Goforth McDaniel Memorial Short Story Contest for NCTC students is funded by the family of Dr. McDaniel, Professor of English at NCTC from 1993-2001.

First place went to Konrad Sneed (NCTC Corinth), second place to Alissa Blalock (NCTC Gainesville), third place to Darlene Villa (NCTC Gainesville), and honorable mention went to Steven Blankenship (NCTC Graham).

The Academic Non-Fiction Contest is for NCTC students and is funded by the NCTC English Department. First place went to Taleah Allen (NCTC Corinth), second place to Thomas Davis (NCTC Gainesville), third place to Rut Rodriguez (NCTC Gainesville), and honorable mention went to Jordan Waters (NCTC Flower Mound) and Kathryn Worth (NCTC Gainesville).

The Garland Ray Wallace Poetry Contest is for non-student, non-professional writers residing in Texas and Oklahoma. It is funded by NCTC Chancellor Dr. G. Brent Wallace in honor of his father. First place went to Barbara Loyd, second place to Kaci Laws, third place to Tommy VanHook, Robert Schinzel and Nick Sweet both received honorable mention.

The Vivian Aytes Thomlinson Short Story Contest is for non-student, non-professional writers resding in Texas or Oklahoma and is funded by Dr. Vivian Thomlinson. First place went to Stephen Dahlbo, second place to Ramiro Valdez, third place to Paul Lang, and Nick Sweet and Kellie Goolsby both received honorable mention.

The Ona Roberts Wright Award for Literary Excellence in Prose and the Layuna Hicks Memorial Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry are awarded by the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Language to NCTC students whose entries in the Creative Writing Contests are thought to have outstanding literary merit. The awards are named for two longtime professors of English at NCTC.

The Ona Roberts Wright Award went to Rut Rodriguez (NCTC Gainesville), while the Layuna Hicks Award went to Emma Hendricks (NCTC Gainesville).

For more information about the Creative Writing awards at NCTC, visit creativewriting.nctc.edu.

 

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The Layuna Hicks Memorial Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry is awarded by the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Language to an NCTC student whose entry in the Creative Writing Contest is thought to have outstanding literary merit. This year’s Layuna Hicks Award went to Emma Hendricks (left) of NCTC Gainesville, who was presented her award by NCTC Dean Dr. Bruce King.

 

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United States Marine Michael Jernigan was the speaker at this year’s Creative Writing Awards held at the NCTC Gainesville campus.