Graduate student wins AWP award

U-News Staff

“Star Trek” fans have Trekkie conventions, comic book nerds have Comic-Con and writers have the Associate of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference.

Every year, thousands of writers, teachers, publishers and students flock to a major city – this year Minneapolis – for the annual gathering. The conference holds various panels, talks and book signings from those established in the book world. The conference is the “who’s who” of the literary world. Any recognition from AWP comes with a certain level of esteem from one’s peers.

This year, second year MFA student and Durwood Fellow Emily Geminder won the 2015 AWP Intro Journals Project prize in creative non-fiction for her personal essay “Nausicaa.” Writer Sue William Silverman selected Geminder for the award. AWP describes the contest as a “literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in AWP member programs.” The prize, a prestigious honor for any writer, is publication in a literary journal. Geminder’s essay will appear in the Tampa Review.

“It’s basically about reading Ulysses in India,” said Geminder when asked about her essay. The essay focuses on a family friend who gave her a copy of Ulysses to read when she was young. Written in letterform, the essay creates urgency and intimacy that keeps the reader turning the page.

This year, Geminder was also named runner-up in Prairie Schooner’s creative nonfiction contest and finalist in the Black Warrior Review’s writing contest. Both honors were for her piece “Coming To: A Lexicology of Fainting.” She was also a finalist for the 2015 Mississippi Review fiction contest for her short story titled, “Are You on the Road to Salvation?”