Convocation Awards

Gertrude Claytor Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets

Given to a graduate or undergraduate student for the best poem or group of poems.

2021 – Judged by Nancy Naomi Carlson

  • Tyler Starks MFA ’21 – winner
  • Madeleine Gallo MFA ’21 – runner-up
  • Makenzie Hampton ’22 – runner-up

2020 – Judged by Rebecca Morgan Frank

  • Margot Rieth ’20 – winner
  • Jennifer Sutherland MFA ’20 – honorable mention

2019 – Judged by Dan Vera

  • Adriana Rewald MFA ’19 – winner
  • Jonathan Pyner MFA ’20 – honorable mention
  • Madison Harr ’22 – honorable mention

2018 – Judged by Jim McKean

  • Adriana Rewald MFA ’19 – winner
  • Reilly Cundiff MFA ’18 – runner-up
  • Margot Rieth ’20 – runner-up

2017 – Judged by Rose McLarney

  • Brooke McKinney MFA ’18 – winner
  • Heather Loudermilk ’17 – runner-up

2016 – Judged by Ansel Elkins

  • Shelley Whitaker ’16 – winner
  • Mike Good MFA ’16 – runner-up

2015 – Judged by David Roderick

  • William Repass MFA ’16 – winner
  • Amanda Williams MFA ’16 – winner

2013 – Judged by Andrea Hollander

  • Michael Loruss MFA ’13 – winner
  • Eve Strillacci MFA ’13 – winner

2012 – Judged by Stacey Brown

  • Matthew Bishop MFA ’12 – winner
  • Brandon Courtney MFA ’12 – winner
  • Elisabeth Aroneau MFA ’13 – honorable mention

2011 – Judged by Tim Seibles

  • S.H. Lohmann MFA ’12 – winner
  • Jess Quinlan MFA ’11 – runner-up
  • Matthew Bishop MFA ’12 – honorable mention
  • Lauren Smith MFA ’12 – honorable mention

Andrew James Purdy Prize for Short Fiction

In memory of Andrew James Purdy, a member of the Hollins English faculty from 1968 to 1977, this award is given to a graduate student in the creative writing program who has written a body of fiction of outstanding quality.

2021 – Judged by Louise Marburg

  • Laura Schmitt MFA ’22 – winner
  • Griffin Plaag MFA ’22 – runner-up

2020 – Judged by Susan Land

  • Alexis Collins MFA ’21 – winner
  • Lena Fultz MFA ’21 – runner-up
  • Nicholas Shahbaz MFA ’20 – runner-up

2019 – Judged by Anne Sanow

  • Amy Tomasso MFA ’19 – winner
  • Jordan Humphrey MFA ’19 – runner-up

2018 – Judged by Anne Sanow

  • Lucy Marcus MFA ’19 – winner
  • Victoria Garayalde MFA ’18 – runner-up

2017 – Judged by Mark Powell

  • Julie Upshur MFA ’17 – winner
  • Ellie Paolini MFA ’17 – runner-up

2016 – Judged by Matthew Vollmer

  • Whitney Watson MFA ’16 – winner
  • Taylor Kobran MFA ’16 – runner-up

2015 – Judged by Mariflo Stephens

  • Elisabeth Booze MFA ’16 – winner
  • Ellen Ray MFA ’16 – runner-up

2014 – Judged by Elizabeth Denton

  • Colin Lee MFA ’14 – winner
  • Elise Burke MFA ’15 – runner-up

2013 – Judged by Daniel Mueller

  • Eric Thompson MFA ’13 – winner
  • Annie Mountcastle MFA ’13 – runner-up
  • Amanda Pauley MFA ’14 – runner-up

2012 – Judged by R.T. Smith

  • David Gauly MFA ’12 – winner

2011 – Judged by Jean McGarry

  • David Gauly MFA ’12 – winner
  • Meighan Sharp MFA ’11 – runner-up
  • Lauren Smith MFA ’11 – runner-up

Melanie Hook Rice Award in Creative Nonfiction

In memory of Melanie Hook Rice, Class of 1975, this award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in the creative writing program who has demonstrated considerable writing skills and has either completed or made substantial progress toward writing a book-length work of nonfiction.

2021 – Judged by Inara Verzemnieks

  • Winner: Jen Lazar MFA ’21 – winner
  • Runner-up: Sharon Christner MFA ’21 – runner-up
  • Runner-up: Meghana Mysore MFA ’22 – runner-up

2020 – Judged by Michaele Weissman

  • Sharon Christner MFA ’21 – winner

2019 – Judged by Anne Valente

  • Lucy Marcus MFA ’19 – winner
  • Lisa Archer MFA ’19 – runner-up
  • Hännah Ettinger MFA ’19 – runner-up

2018 – Judged by Colin Rafferty

  • Sydney Tammarine MFA ’18 – winner
  • Lucy Marcus MFA ’19 – runner-up
  • Rachael Walker ’18 – runner-up

2017 – Judged by Peter Trachtenberg

  • Sydney Tammarine MFA ’18 – winner
  • Josalyn Knapic MFA ’17 – runner-up
  • Abigail Tippin MFA ’17 – runner-up

2016 – Judged by Susan Fox Rogers

  • Mallory Jones MFA ’16 – winner
  • Miranda Jenkins MFA ’16 – runner-up
  • Ericka Kelly ’16 – runner-up

2015 – Judged by Scott McClanahan

  • Elizabeth Caldwell MFA ’15 – winner
  • Mallory Jones MFA ’16 – runner-up
  • Martha Park MFA ’15 – runner-up

2014 – Judged by Lia Purpura

  • Martha Park MFA ’15 – winner

2012 – Judged by Paul Lisicky

  • S.H. Lohmann MFA ’12 – winner
  • Lorie Imsdahl MFA ’13 – runner-up

2011 – Judged by Jenny Boully, MFA ’99 

  • Alys Sink ’11 – winner

Melanie Hook Rice Award in the Novel

In memory of Melanie Hook Rice, Class of 1975, this award is given to a graduate or undergraduate student in the creative writing program who has demonstrated considerable writing skills and has either completed or made substantial progress toward writing a novel.

2021 – Judged by Ellen Prentiss Campbell

  • Cory Crouser MFA ’21 – winner
  • Zoe Wright MFA ’21 – runner-up

2020 – Judged by Anne Sanow

  • Brooke Shamblin ’20 – winner
  • Celeste Leeds-Laliberte ’22 – runner-up
  • Katherine Nuwayser ’20 – runner-up

2019 – Judged by Susan Coll

  • Lucy Marcus ’19 – winner
  • Kelly Stephenson MFA ’20 – runner-up
  • Cassidy Trudeau ’19 – runner-up

2018 – Judged by Paula Whyman

  • Lucy Marcus MFA ’19 – winner
  • Victoria Garayalde MFA ’18 – runner-up

2017 – Judged by Robert Siegel

  • Tessa Cheek MFA ’17 – winner
  • Elizabeth Reitzell MFA ’17 – runner-up
  • Ellie Paolini MFA ’17 – runner-up

2016 – Judged by Jon Pineda

  • Ellen Ray MFA ’16 – winner
  • Elizabeth Booze MFA ’16 – runner-up
  • Tessa Cheek MFA ’17 – runner-up

2015 – Judged by Ravi Howard

  • Elisabeth Booze MFA ’16 – winner
  • Marissa Mazek MFA ’15 – runner-up

2014 – Judged by Drew Perry

  • Virginia Wood MFA ’14 – winner
  • Emma Bohmann MFA ’14 – runner-up
  • Colin Lee MFA ’14 – runner-up

2013 – Judged by Adam Ross

  • Colin Lee MFA ’14 – winner
  • Annie Mountcastle MFA ’14 – runner-up

2012 – Judged by Jessica Anya Blau

  • Courtney Cullinan Robb MFA ’12 – winner
  • Mary Catherine Curley MFA ’12 – runner-up

2011 – Judged by Ed Falco

  • Courtney Cullinan Robb MFA ’12 – winner