Tusculum College students Brittany Connolly, Elizabeth McDonnell, David Roncskevitz and Ben Sneyd are the winners of the 2011 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards, annually given to recognize the literary achievements of the college’s creative writing students.
Brittany Connolly was the award recipient in the scriptwriting category with an excerpt from “Chateaux en Espange.” Connolly, a junior from Greeneville, Tenn., is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
Elizabeth McDonnell was named the award recipient in the non-fiction category with “Little Ballerina.” McDonnell, a junior from Memphis, Tenn., is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
David Ronckevitz received the award in the fiction category for his story, “Should Dogs Have Dreams.” This is third year that Roncskevitz has been recognized with one of the literary awards. Previously he has been the award winner in the poetry and scriptwriting categories. Roncskevitz is a senior from Franklin, Tenn., majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
Ben Sneyd was the recipient in the poetry category for his work, “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Sneyd, a junior from Unicoi, Tenn., is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
The literary award was named for Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York. He and his wife established the Owens Award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.
The announcement of the winners was made during a reading by award-winning poet John Hoppenthaler, who served as the judge for the final round of competition. The reading was part of the annual Humanities Series, sponsored by the Tusculum College English Department.
Hoppenthaler, an assistant professor of creative writing at East Carolina University, read poetry from his two books of poetry, “Lives of Water” and “Anticipate the Coming Reservoir.” He also read some newer works.
His poetry appears in a number of publications, and he is an editor of poetry anthologies. Hoppenthaler has received numerous awards and honors, including an Individual Artist Grant from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, grants from the New York Foundation on the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.