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M.F.A. Graduates, Student Win National Writing Awards

Photo of Natalie Diaz at a book signing eventNatalie Diaz (seated)

Several alumni and a current student from the Old Dominion University M.F.A. in creative writing program recently received national literary awards for their work.

Luisa Igloria, director of the program, announced the honors. The list of accolades includes:

Natalie Diaz '00 (poetry): selected as a Pushcart Prize winner. The annual Pushcart Prize is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards for poems, short stories and essays published by small presses.

Valerie Wilkinson '13 (fiction): third prize in the Yemassee journal's William Richey Fiction Contest for her story "Rattlesnake Ridge."

Tarah Gibbs '13 (fiction): honorable mention in the 2013 Short Story Award for New Writers at Glimmer Train competition. Her story placed in the top 5 percent of more than 1,000 entries.

Kevin O'Connor, second-year student (poetry): won a $500 poetry prize from a prestigious literary journal (official announcement to is pending).

Christian Anton Gerard '09 (poetry): Iron Horse Literary Review 2013 Discovered Voices Award for three poems with a linked narrative.

In addition to these awards, Igloria noted that second-year student Geoff Watkinson received a scholarship to attend the 2013 Wildacres Writing Workshop in North Carolina.

The ODU M.F.A. in creative writing is a three-year residential program that offers three concentrations: poetry, nonfiction and fiction. For more information visit the ODU MFA Creative Writing program website.