The University of South Carolina’s honors college sponsors a writing contest each year to encourage students to write, and to get readers for these talented young people, according to college Dean Steve Lynn, who originated the program. The incentives to enter are several. Not only does it award cash prizes, but the best writings are gathered together each year in a book published by USC Press to give permanent exposure to young writers. In addition, the judges are high-profile, nationally known writers.
In its inaugural year three years ago, the late Pat Conroy, acclaimed South Carolina author, was a judge, and Lynn and editor Aida Rogers hope that one day the annual books may contain the early writings of a similarly successful writer. We also hear recent awardee Anna Sheppard read her original poetry and tell how she benefited from participating.