Tusculum College students Becca Friddle, Anup Kaphle, and Eliza Land are the 2007 winners of the Curtis and Billie Belcher Owens Literary Prize creative writing competition at the state’s oldest institution of higher education.
The winners of the competition were announced on Feb. 15 during the fifth annual English Department Extravaganza, an event hosted by the English Department for its majors. The English Department coordinates the annual Owens creative writing competition. This year’s English Department Extravaganza event, which had a Mardi Gras theme, also provided information about English student organizations and upcoming course offerings.
Friddle, a senior from Honea Path, S.C., was the winner in the fiction category with her story, “He Said, She Said.” This was the first submission in the competition for Friddle, who is majoring in English literature with a minor in writing. She is a managing editor of the Tusculum Review, the college’s literary magazine, and a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. Friddle is a member of the Tusculum Women’s Golf Team.
Kaphle, an international student from Katmandu, Nepal, was the winner in the poetry category for his poems, “Baghdad,” “Katmandu, 2027,” “Brothel in Bombay,” “Night, Trekking Down Tatopani,” and “Coup d’etat.” Kaphle, a senior majoring in English writing with a minor in journalism, is editor of The Pioneer Frontier student newspaper and worked last summer as an intern for Newsweek. He also attended the prestigious Bard Program for Globalization in International Affairs last summer. This is the third time that Kaphle has placed in the competition, previously earning honors for poetry and fiction.
Land, a senior from Greeneville, was the winner in the nonfiction category for her essay, “Calling It Home.” Land, who is majoring in English writing with a minor in journalism, is a Trustee Scholar, the president of the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society, a tutor, and Student Support Services mentor. Last year, she served as managing editor of the Tusculum Review, and editor of The Pioneer Frontier. Land won an honorable mention in the competition last year for her poetry.
The Curtis and Billie Belcher Owens Literary Prize was established in 1995 by Professor Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum, and his wife. At Tusculum, Owens played football, debated, won a special award for philosophy, two awards for poetry, wrote the class poem for the 1928 annual, and wrote a play presented as part of commencement. After graduation, he began a career in education, serving as a school principal in eastern Kentucky where he was noted for his drama productions and later as a professor of English and speech at Pace Institute in New York City, now Pace University. Although Professor Owens and his wife are both now deceased, the prize continues to recognize their long-standing commitment to Tusculum by providing for the annual competition among students and a monetary prize to the winners.