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2014 CALS/CCR Community Read Writing Contest

Centre County Reads, with the support of the Center for American Literary Studies, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 writing contest, “Writing the (Un)Known.”

This contest is part of the 2014 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of bestselling author Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Since Packing for Mars does such an artful job of blurring the line between the known and unknown in its examination of the human’s relationship to space exploration, this year’s theme was “Writing the (Un)Known.”

The winners are:

Grand Prize: Nick Miller, “Nobody Listened”

Miller is a B.A./M.A. student in Penn State's English department, studying fiction- and poetry-writing. As an undergraduate at Penn State, he studied English and Film/Video Production, with an emphasis in screenwriting. Miller will be moving to Austin, Texas in August 2014, where he will join the University of Texas' Michener Center for Writers as an MFA student in fiction-writing.

Poetry: Abby Minor, “An Inch of Air Belongs to Itself”

Minor is a visual artist, creative writer, and a native of Centre County, PA.  Her areas of interest include textile design and craft, 20th century women writers, notions of the "folk" and authenticity in American life, and wild edibles.  She currently teaches first-year rhetoric and composition with an emphasis on American identity and culture. 

Fiction: Max Vanderhyden, “The Sea Breeze Motel”

Vanderhyden received an MFA in fiction from Penn State University, where he teaches writing. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rain Taxi and AGNI. He is currently completing a book of short stories.

Non-fiction: Laura Dzwonczyk, “My Vice-Presidential Debacle”

Dzwonczyk is a graduate student of English at Penn State. She specializes in creative writing and is working toward graduation in May 2014. Apart from writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and sleeping in. 

Under-18: Abby Peacock, “2568 CE”

Peacock is a seventh grade student at Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania. Her interests include military history, apocalyptic stories, and graphic novels.

Thanks to all the entrants! We look forward to reading more fabulous work by local writers next year!

Above: Abby Peacock, winner of the Under-18 category, receives her prize from 2013-2014 CALS Graduate Research Assistant Michelle N. Huang.