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UW Students Win Writing Competition

April 13, 2011

Three University of Wyoming students received awards for the first campus-wide Undergraduate Creative Writing Award competition.

They are Will Goodell, Laramie; Sean Matoon, Riverton; and Ben Slater, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

They received a small scholarship award, books and a personal manuscript consultation with the judge in their genre. The UW MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Department of English co-sponsored the competition. The three winners read from their works at a recent reception.

Goodell won the non-fiction category for "Making the Jump"; Matoon's "Matthew and Lucas" placed first in the fiction division; and Slater's "Full Moon in December" and his other works won the poetry competition.

Judging the competition were Katie Schmid, a second-year graduate student in the creative writing program, who recently received an Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) award for her poetry; and current MFA students Maya Cohen from Ithaca, N.Y., and Jennifer Lea Schneider, Seattle, Wash.

Brad Watson, associate professor in the Department of English, who recently was a finalist for the prestigious 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, was master of ceremonies for the student reception.

"I know many talented and deserving poets entered the competition, so I was surprised and honored to be chosen," Slater said about his award.

Goodell added, "Winning is pretty exciting and unexpected. I haven't written much nonfiction, but after winning will dabble with more of it in the future."

Last semester, UW's MFA Program in Creative Writing was named one of the nation's top 50 programs (number 43 overall) and was number 22 in funding. The program rankings, published annually by Poets & Writers magazine, are widely viewed by universities, their faculty members and prospective students nationwide.

For information about UW's MFA Program in Creative Writing, visit the MFA website at or e-mail program Director Beth Loffreda at

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