UWG Students Invited to NY State Summer Writers Institute

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Three students from the University of West Georgia creative writing program are among the 50 students nationwide receiving tuition scholarships to the New York State Summer Writers Institute in July 2013. UWG is the only university with three students receiving scholarships; all other universities, a list including Columbia University, Northwestern University and Swarthmore College, have two or fewer students attending theDiamond Forde, Brett Armes, Amadi Ozier institute. The students were chosen from a pool of approximately 400 applicants.

The UWG students invited to attend the 2013 program are Diamond Forde, a junior majoring in English and minoring in creative writing; Amadi Ozier, a senior majoring in English and minoring in creating writing; and Brett Armes, a graduate student in English. The program will take place at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and will feature a staff of distinguished writers including National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners. Students will engage in creative writing workshops in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“We are indeed very proud of these three students, all of whom have worked very hard to gain access to these highly competitive national programs,” said Dr. Chad Davidson, UWG Professor of English. “If you look at the list of students accepted into the New York State Summer Writers Institute, you will see that they come from mostly top-ranked state institutions and ivy-league schools. Those institutions fortunate enough to be sending two students are some of the finest in the country, and there are no schools other than West Georgia sending three.”

Forde was also invited to attend the 29th Annual Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets in June 2013. Only ten applicants nationwide are chosen to attend the exclusive seminar, each receiving a full scholarship including tuition, room and board for three weeks at the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.

“It's a serious step for [Forde],” Davidson said. “Having that experience on her list of accomplishments will look extremely attractive to prospective graduate writing programs once she finishes at West Georgia.”

Students attending the seminar have an opportunity to learn from established poets through writing workshops, lectures, discussions and individual conferences. The 2013 staff includes Seminar Director G.C. Waldrep, Associate Director Deirdre O’Connor, and Stadler Fellows Carolina Ebeid and Jamaal May. Jean Valentine and Dan Beachy-Quick are the 2013 visiting poets. Forde is the third UWG student to receive this honor following Jeffrey Peterson in 2011 and Nick McRae in 2009.

“The minor in creative writing at West Georgia has enjoyed success after success since its inception in 2005,” said Dr. Gregory Fraser, UWG Professor of English and Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program. “We are incredibly proud of our students--dozens of whom have gone on to graduate training, publication in national literary journals, and jobs in the field. Diamond, Amadi, and Brett, like many of their peers at UWG, have bright futures in the craft. Their acceptance into the NY State Summer Writers Institute testifies to their hard work as artists, and to the strength of our program overall.”

“I have to remind myself often not to become complacent about the extraordinary yearly accomplishments of our Creative Writing program,” said Dr. Randy Hendricks, Dean of the UWG College of Arts and Humanities. “Congratulations to Diamond, Amadi, and Brett as well as to their teachers, Professors Davidson and Fraser.”

Photo from L to R: Diamond Forde, Brett Armes, Amadi Ozier