Sophie Kerr Prize
Katie Manion, an English major who graduated with a minor in creative writing and anthropology, also took home the Sophie Kerr Prize, given each year to a student who demonstrates the greatest literary ability and promise.
Manion was one of five finalists—including Natalie L. Butz, Douglas Carter, Maria Queen, and Erica Walburg—who had submitted portfolios of poetry, essays, fiction and scholarship to rise to the top of the 35 seniors vying for the prize.
“it was an especially strong year for our student writers,” says English professor Kathryn Moncrief, chair of the 14-member Sophie Kerr Committee that judges the competition. “We could easily have doubled the number of finalists.”
Manion took the prize with her submission of four short stories she considers works in progress, and excerpts of her thesis on the role of letter writing in literature—a study that drew from the novels of Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, George Eliot and Emily Bronte.
“Katie excels as both a critical and a creative writer, and her scholarship and her fiction display an intensity of purpose,” adds Moncrief, a Shakespeare scholar who chairs the English Department. “She has a terrific work ethic and is courageous and persistent in taking on difficult subjects. She is always willing to grow and develop as a writer, and her fiction is fun to read, full of wonderful surprises.”
The 2012 Sophie Kerr Prize was valued at $58,274.