Pertell, Coyle win Hub City/Emrys Writing Prizes
The annual Hub City/Emrys Creative Writing Prizes have been awarded to Erika Pertell in fiction and Jill A. Coyle in poetry. The contest, sponsored by the Hub City Writers Project and the Emrys Foundation, is open to adults in Greenville and Spartanburg counties.
Erika Pertell of Spartanburg won the fiction contest for her story, “Supper.” Of her work the judge said, “In scenes that are vivid and hilarious and sometimes gross, ‘Supper’ portrays one boy’s struggle to become his own person à la ‘The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber’ by Ernest Hemingway. This writer has excellent command of sentence, detail, tone and pacing.” Pertell, a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, was a finalist for the South Carolina First Novel Prize. She is the lower elementary lead guide for the Montessori Academy of Spartanburg.
Second place in fiction went to Matt Matthews of Greenville for his story, “Charles Wesley Bartlett Saves the Day.” The third place winner was Joe Worthen of Travelers Rest for his story “The Waitress.”
The winner in the poetry contest is Jill A. Coyle, who lives in northern Greenville County, for a set of three poems. The contest judge said of Coyle’s work, “The poem, ‘Communion,’ slowly unfolds itself, using precise detail, the art of watching carefully as, after a rain, a snail moves across the flagstone. Stage by stage this fine poem moves down the page, with great care and patience as the snail examines another's discarded shell, until the observer at the end realizes what the hidden work of this snail leads toward: softly eating the body of another.” Coyle earned her PhD in Classical Studies from Duke University and her MA in English from N.C. State University. She teaches English at Spartanburg Methodist College. Her poems and essays have appeared in Blueline, Avocet, Main Street Rag, The Independent Weekly, Pinesong, Raleigh Review, When Women Waken, and Emrys Journal.
Second place in poetry went to James C. Raff of Greenville.
First place winners of these contests receive a scholarship to the week-long Wildacres Writers Workshop in Little Switzerland, N.C. in July. Second and third place winners receive full or partial scholarships to Hub City’s Writing in Place conference July 14-16.
The judge in the fiction contest was author Julia Franks of Atlanta, author of the novel “Over the Plain Houses.” The judge for the poetry contest was Kathryn Stripling Byer, a former North Carolina poet laureate and author of the book “Descent,” published by LSU Press.
The Hub City Writers Project is a non-profit organization in Spartanburg dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent small press, community bookstore, and diverse literary programming that serves our community and beyond. The Emrys Foundation, based in Greenville, nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers.