The winners of the university’s Fiction Competition were awarded $6,000 in scholarships after being chosen by a panel of judges from among hundreds of entries.
Joe Skonie, a student in SNHU’s online bachelor’s in creative writing degree program with a concentration in fiction, won first place and will receive a $3,000 scholarship to continue his education. His entry, “As Good As Gone,” is a first-person apocalyptic tale that envisions planets, and finally, the stars, moon and sun falling from the sky as a couple’s relationship similarly falters.
“I like to somehow bring into the question the nature of reality, space and time, and the meaning of things without necessarily straying too far from everyday experiences, or into the world of science fiction,” he said. “Ultimately I’m still learning what it is I like to write about, and the best way to write about it.”
Judge Joan Smith, who teaches creative writing and literature at SNHU, likened Skonie’s story to poetry.
“‘As Good As Gone’ was tremendous for its structure,” she said. “Overall, I was absorbed in reading until the end of the finalist’s work, which is a good indication of its success as a creative work.”
In addition to the $3,000 scholarship, Skonie received a prize package including a copy of “Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2017” by Rachel Randall and an autographed copy of “The Neverland Wars” by SNHU alumna Audrey Greathouse. The Penmen Review, SNHU’s online journal for creative writers, will also feature his story and that of the second- and third-place finishers.
The winner of a $2,000 scholarship, online master’s in English student Taylor Hicks, will also get a prize pack including a copy of “Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2017” and “The Neverland Wars” for her story, “Machine.”
Third-place winner Megan Parker is earning her online master’s in English and creative writing with a concentration in fiction. She said the $1,000 scholarship will help her complete her degree and prove she’s progressing as a writer.
“The feeling was incredible. Total excitement and awe,” Parker said. “It drove me straight to my keyboard to begin working on my next story.”
Visit The Penmen Review at penmenreview.com.