USC Aiken's Creative Writers Earn Washington Group Awards
Aiken, SC (06/04/2019) — This spring, several University of South Carolina Aiken students earned the 2019 Washington Group Awards for their prose and poetry.
In 2004, the Washington Group International established an endowment at USC Aiken. The purpose is to recognize "exemplary student work in creative writing."
"I am impressed by the work this year and how much of the work has to do with aspects of identity and culture. These works do what all vibrant art does. It challenges the status quo," said Roy Seeger, USC Aiken English professor.
"I am proud that there is such a diversity in the voices and experiences in our little journal. It is not just a peek into the minds of our students at [USC Aiken], but it is an examination of vital concerns about the turbulent and changing world in which we live."
All submissions accepted for Broken Ink, the annual literary and visual arts magazine written, edited and produced by USC Aiken students, are considered for the Washington Group Awards. A committee reviews each entry to determine whether it qualifies for this special recognition. Those students awarded receive cash prizes as part of the honor.
"These awards are important in showing students that their work and the arts have value and worth," said Seeger who is the faculty advisor for Broken Ink.
Winners of the 2019 Washington Group Writers Award in Prose are:
- 1st Place: Allie Pizzemento
- 2nd Place: Brent Fessler
- 3rd Place: Allie Pizzemento
Winners of the 2019 Washington Group Writers Award in Poetry are:
- 1st Place: Samantha Palker
- 2nd Place: Houston Louis Keenan
- 3rd Place: Tequila Hightower
In addition to the Washington Group Awards, Broken Ink presented several other honors.
The Ink Splat award recognizes "superior student artwork" and is given to the best visual pieces submitted to the magazine. It is funded by the USC Aiken Fine Arts Department. This year, artists and visual arts experts from the community chose the winners of this award through a blind review by Dr. Jeremy Culler of the USC Aiken visual arts department.
The 2019 Ink Spat Award went to:
- 1st Place: DK Turner for "Bent Realities"
- 2nd Place: Samantha Vigoya for "Samantha's Galaxy"
- 3rd Place: Mel Dekelsa for "Hair in the Wind"
The Roll Over Beethoven award goes to the best musical piece and is given to the Pacer who submitted "an original student audio piece that displays meritorious quality." The anonymous donor of this award created it as a tribute to the Joseph T. and Mary H. Usher Music Program Endowment. The winner of this award was selected through a blind review by Professor Steve Sloan who teaches guitar at USC Aiken.
The 2019 Roll Over Beethoven Award went to Joshua McLane for his contemporary classic, "In the Eye of Man."
Broken Ink's annual release show takes place every spring. This year, the staff of the magazine celebrated its 51st volume. The student-produced literary and visual arts magazine was first published in 1971. It now includes original poetry, paintings, short stories, photography, and other art forms, including music.
The magazine "endeavors to accurately and objectively feature the literary and artistic achievement of USC Aiken students and to raise awareness of the literary and visual arts throughout campus and the community," according to its mission statement.
Pacers' submission are reviewed blindly before being published in the annual volume.
"I love being able to share the work of students, many of whom didn't have confidence in their amazing creations," said Haley Dixon who has worked on Broken Ink for the last four years and served as its editor-in-chief during the 2018-19 academic year.
"This year is no exception with many wonderful pieces by talented students, some of which challenged our categories, expanded our understanding or art, and even inspired our editors in their own creative endeavors."
For more about Broken Ink, go to: https://brokeninkusca.wordpress.com/ .