University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

October 9, 2006
Contact: Renee Paul, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6640

USA's Eugene Walter Writers Festival Recognizes Top Writers

Department of English Hosts Eugene Walter Writers Festival—English Department Chair Dr. Sue Walker congratulates the top winners of the William March Short Story Award at the Eugene Walter Writers Festival. From left are first-place winner Iain Baird of New Orleans, La.; second-place winner Aneela Shuja of Kenner, La.; Walker; and Derek Bagley, senior reporter for The Vanguard and former editor-in-chief of Oracle, USA’s literary and fine arts magazine.

Winners of the Eugene Walter Writers Festival writing competition were announced during a three-day conference hosted this month by USA’s department of English and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

The conference featured nationally known authors, agents and editors, as well as the writing contest, which showcased the talent of conference participants. There were more than 200 entries in this year’s writing competition.

Cash prizes were awarded in the novel, poetry and short fiction categories. A Hollywood producer will read the first-place entry in the screenplay category. First-place entries in all categories will be published or excerpted in Oracle, USA’s literary and fine arts magazine.

The winners of the Eugene Walter Award for Best Novel are, first place, Patrick Tucker of Baltimore, Md.; second place, Mickey Vann of Fairhope, Ala.; third place, April Nosek of Matthews, N.C.; and, honorable mentions, Nancy Burke of Evanston, Ill., Tracy Koretsky of Berkeley, Calif., and Thomas Maltman of Manitowoc, Wis.

Theresa Thorne of Springville, Ala., is first-place winner of the Termite Hall Screenplay Award.

The Vivian Smallwood Poetry Award winners are, first place, Van Henderson of Macon, Ga.; second place, Nancy Burke of Evanston, Ill.; third place, Ute Carson of Galveston, Texas; and, honorable mention, Dorothy Fletcher of Jacksonville, Fla.

Winners of the William March Short Story Award are, first place, Iain Baird of New Orleans, La.; second place, Aneela Shuja of Kenner, La.; third place, Helen Barolini of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.; and, honorable mentions, Kathleen Thompson of Birmingham, Ala., and Theresa Thorne.

The Junior League of Mobile High Youth Pen Award winners are, first place, Elizabeth Fair, a junior at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School; second place, William Clark, a senior at UMS-Wright Preparatory School; and, third place, Holly Garvin, a graduate of Theodore High School, currently a freshman at Spring Hill College.

USA’s writing conference was named in honor of the late Eugene Walter, a native of Mobile and one of the founders of the Paris Review. He was awarded the prestigious Lippincott Award for fiction and was an acclaimed author of cookbooks, poetry and music, as well as a visual artist. This was the third year of celebration of his life and literary contributions.

For more information on the Eugene Walter Writers Festival or writing competition details, visit

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