Kate Shapiro (English) and Joe Milan Jr. (English and Black Mountain Institute), along with alumni Olufunke Ogundimu, '18 MFA Creative Writing, and Ernie Wang, '16 MFA Creative Writing, recently have won prestigious national and international awards for their fiction.
Shapiro, a master's student in the English department's creative writing international program, won first place in the very competitive Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) prize contest for her story "The Language of A Perfect Woman." The prize includes free tuition this summer at any of the SLS seminars, plus airfare, and publication of the story in Fence magazine in the fall. She is traveling to Tbilisi, Georgia, and St. Petersburg, Russia, to attend the SLS seminar and complete research for her book.
Milan, a doctoral student and Black Mountain Institute Fellow in fiction, won the F(r)iction Prize for best innovative story, selected by Celeste Ng, for his story "Once A Little Blue Frog Told His Mother No." The prize carries a cash award, national recognition, and featured publication in F(r)iction magazine.
Ogundimu has won a Pushcart Prize for her story "The Armed Letter Writers" (originally published in New Orleans Review), which includes publication in next year's Pushcart Prize anthology of best writing from the small and literary presses. She also has just been short-listed for the Caine Prize for Best Writing from Africa and will be flown to London for the celebration and announcement of the winning writer on July 2.
Wang won a P.E.N. America Best Debut Short Stories Award for his story "Stay Brave, My Hercules" (originally published in McSweeney's). The prize carries a cash award and publication this fall in the well-known P.E.N. Best Debut Short Stories anthology. He traveled to New York in February to attend the P.E.N. award ceremony and celebrations.