creative writing news 2018August 2, 2018 (Jackson, Miss.) - Faculty, students, and alumni from Belhaven's Creative Writing Department are earning awards, opportunities, and staying active in the creative writing community.

The University of the South invited Dr. Randy Smith, chair of creative writing at Belhaven, to its prestigious Sewanee Writers Conference. Only a handful of America's top writers and faculty receive invitations to this premier event. The Conference. July 17-29, provided instruction and criticism through workshops and craft lectures in poetry, fiction, and playwriting.

In other news, the editors of Tupelo Quarterly recently chose two poems by Dr. Smith as finalists for their annual Poetry Open Contest. The contest was judged by poet Denise Duhamel, who has published numerous collections of poetry, including Blowout (2013), which was a finalist for a National Books Critics Circle Award. Dr. Smith's poems can be found in issue 14 of Tupelo Quarterly.

Caitlin Dunn, a junior from La Veta, Colorado, won third place for poetry in the annual undergraduate writing competition sponsored by the Southern Literary Festival. According to Dr. Smith, “Caitlin's poem, 'Inveterate, or Woodpecker Eyes,' demonstrates the keen ear Caitlin possesses for particular names of flora and fauna in natural settings and the remarkable insight with which she probes landscapes for metaphors of human loss and connection." The Southern Literary Festival is the oldest undergraduate writing festival in the United States and Belhaven was a founding member 1937.

Alumnae Emily Polson '16 has been accepted for participation in the prestigious Columbia Publishing Course offered by the Columbia University Journalism School in New York City. The program is an intensive, six-week introduction to all aspects of book, magazine, and digital publishing. Since its inception 70 years ago, the Columbia Publishing Course has been recognized as the premier training ground for those aspiring to work in publishing. Polson will complete the course this coming summer. Since graduation in 2016, she has taught English in the Basque region of Spain.