May 21, 2024

This past Tuesday, Founders Pub was filled with excitement and laughter while playing host to the English Department’s annual awards ceremony known as the Literary Pub Fest.

Every year, students have the opportunity to submit their writing to be anonymously judged with the best work from each category going on to win an award and a cash prize ranging from $100-$200. Serving as emcees for the evening were juniors Alexis Gallion and Jenn Ryan, who gave English majors and professors entertainment like literature-based awards never seen before. At the event, people had the opportunity to mingle, earn a colloquium credit, eat free food and purchase a beverage of their choice from the bar.

Scot Hinson, associate professor of English, began by sharing a story he had written in the fifth grade called “If I Were A Hippie.” The story was well received by over 50 members of the Wittenberg community who broke out into laughter when they heard the tail of a hippie who passed out flowers and visited Goldilocks in never never land, while having a bad LSD trip.

Once things settled down, Hinson transitioned into the portion of the evening that everyone had been waiting for: the announcement of each award winner. It didn’t take long for senior Jayne Stone to steal the show after winning four of the eight awards. The countless hours spent writing paid off for Stone as she won The Senior Ostrom Award of Expository Writing, The Sherwood Anderson Prize for Fiction, The Lester S. Crowl Creativity Award and The Award for Excellence in Literary Studies.

“I was very surprised, and, let me say, absolutely honored to win four awards,” Stone said. “It reassures me that I am following a worthwhile pursuit in an age in which liberal arts are taking a back seat to technology and science. Writing is such an individual activity that outside reassurance that my writing is valuable to someone other than me really helps keep the fire fueled.”

Several other deserving students also won a variety of awards that ranged from essays to creative pieces, covering both fiction and non-fiction. Sophomore and junior winners of the Ostrom Award of Expository Writing were Reese Harper and Ryan, respectively. Other awards included Non-fiction: Nikki Howard, ‘20; Playwriting/Screenwriting: Morgan Beechey, ‘18; Excellence in Literary Studies: Alex Sharp, ‘18; and the Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Award: Anissa Dann, ‘18, and Daniel Murray, ‘18.

The Koppenhaver Award is given to the senior English major who best represents the qualities epitomized by Dr. Allen Koppenhaver; who was known to have a keen intellect and multifaceted creativity that produced superior teaching and scholarship.

The evening concluded after every professor of the English Department was recognized for a hilarious superlative award. The award that drew the greatest reaction from the audience was when Cynthia Richards won the award for “Most Likely to Injure Herself While Pumping Iron With Her Son Resulting In An Existential Epiphany.”


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