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South Carolina Fiction Project

2008 Winners

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This year's honorees are:

Johnny R. Beavers
Johnny R. Beavers ("Last Train to Carolina ") is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and a member of the South Carolina Writer's Workshop. He recently retired after teaching English and journalism for 30 years at Kingstree Senior High School and now spends his time writing and gardening. He lives in Greeleyville, S.C. with his wife and their menagerie of goldfish, goats, chickens and dogs.
Tony Bertauski
Tony Bertauski ("4 Letter Words ") was born in Charleston, I.L., but, oddly enough, calls Charleston, S.C., home. He teaches horticulture at Trident Technical College, has published a couple of textbooks, and writes a humorous gardening column for The Post and Courier. His two children, however, remain unimpressed. His grandpa had Alzheimer’s. Seeing him alone eating Fritos was one of life’s bare-naked moments.
Cynthia Boiter
A resident of Chapin, Cynthia Boiter ("Shoes") is a six-time winner of the S.C. Fiction Project, a former fellow of the South Carolina Academy of Authors in both fiction and non-fiction, and the recipient of the Porter Fleming Award for fiction and the W. W. Norton 2008 Women on Writing first-prize winner. Her first Fiction Project winning story, "The Proposal," was included in the Hub City Writer's anthology, Inheritance, edited by Jeanette Turner Hospital. When she is not writing she teaches in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Sociology at the University of South Carolina.
Kim Catanzarite
Kim Catanzarite ("The Father ") is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Charleston with her husband and daughter. Her short fiction has appeared in Emrys Journal, The Evansville Review, and Catfish Stew. Last year she won the Carrie McCray Literary Competition for nonfiction. This is her second S.C. Fiction Project win.
Phillip Gardner
Phillip Gardner ("Kids Rule ") lives in Darlington and teaches at Francis Marion University. His recent work has appeared in The North American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Potomac Review, Cadillac Cicatrix, Apalachee Review, Louisiana Literature, RE:AL, and Rainbow Curve. He is the author of Someone To Crawl Back To, a collection of short stories.
Ed MaddenEd Madden ("Room 208 ") is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina. His first book of poetry, Signals, won the 2007 South Carolina Poetry Book Contest and was published earlier this year by USC Press. He was also selected for inclusion in Best New Poets 2007, edited by Natasha Trethewey. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present and in The Southern Poetry Anthology: South Carolina. He lives in Columbia with his partner of 14 years, Bert Easter. This is his first published short story.
James D. McCallister
James D. McCallister ("Howdy From Upstairs ") is a 1988 graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he then worked for 10 years as a motion picture archivist. Now a small retail business owner, he is also a columnist for the alternative weekly Columbia City Paper. In the last few years, his dreams of writing and publishing fiction have begun to come true: his credits include a novel, King’s Highway (published by Red Letter Press in 2007), as well as short stories in literary journals Pearl and moonshine online. He resides in West Columbia with his wife Jenn and their nine cats, and is humbled and gratified to have been selected as a 2008 SC Fiction Project honoree.
Alisha Reid
Alisha Reid ("The Violin") was born in Montgomery, Ala., and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She completed her B.A. in English at Florida State University. She recently graduated with her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of South Carolina, where she now teaches full time. “The Violin” is a revised chapter from her novel in progress, The Soldiers of Summer.
Jocelyn Rish
Jocelyn Rish ("Saying Goodbye") grew up in Summerville, and graduated from Duke University where she studied psychology and computer science – not exactly the characteristic course load for a wannabe writer. She is currently working on two young adult novels mired in the dreaded revision stage. She has also co-written two screenplays she yearns to see on the big screen one day. She was inspired to write “Saying Goodbye” after reading the true account of Oscar, the death-predicting cat.
Jean Robbins
Jean Robbins ("Heavy Machinery") was the only girl between two brothers and they liked it best when she didn’t talk. Unable to shut up, she wrote, filling diaries and notebooks with what she saw, heard, felt and thought. In college she majored in English and read a lot. She finished college with a high school teaching certificate, taught middle school English, Montessori preschool, adult parenting classes (needed an MA in psychology), and high school special needs students (completed an MA in Learning Disabilities for that). Meanwhile, she and her husband live in Seneca and have reared his and her six children. Two years ago, “Heavy Machinery” developed from an assignment during a writing class, and has been a work in progress since then. Now that it’s been chosen for the South Carolina Fiction Project, she can stop rewriting it.
Doug Wedge
Doug Wedge ("What Are You Doing?") earned English degrees from the University of Tulsa (B.A.) and the University of South Carolina (M.A.). He lives in Charleston with his wife and four children. He works as an attorney for Moore & Van Allen PLLC. “What Are You Doing?” is his first published story.
David A. Wright
David A. Wright ("The Philosophy of Drumming") received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina in May 2008. “The Philosophy of Drumming” is adapted from a chapter of his thesis, Abel, N.C. He won the James Dickey Award for Poetry in 2007 with “The Fat Lady Swings,” which was subsequently published in the James Dickey Newsletter. He has also published short stories in the journals Yemassee and Short Story. He lives in Columbia with his wife, Andrea, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of South Carolina.


About the Judges:

Randall KenanRandall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of non-fiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; a young adult biography of James Baldwin; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Dos Passos Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Prix de Rome. He is associate professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill.

His comments on judging the 2008 S.C. Fiction Project: "It was a distinct honor and privilege to read so much good writing and to have had a small hand in selecting a group that should make everyone rejoice. The time-worn worries about the demise of Southern literature is clearly unwarranted. This group proves not only that writers in and of and from the South are going strong, but that they are growing along with the landscape in the face of cell phones and the internet and globalization. You will see a distinctness in line with the Old Guard of Southern Letters -- that sense of place, that preoccupation with religion, that shadow of race, that reveling in certain foodways and certain music -- but you will also find a freshness and a humanity and a consciousness and craft that stands among the very best of twenty-first century World Literature. South Carolina should be proud of its newest literary daughters and sons. I'm proud to have read them."

Pamela DuncanPamela Duncan was born in Asheville and raised in Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Shelby, NC, and currently lives in Saxapahaw, NC. She holds a BA in Journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Her first novel, Moon Women, was a Southeast Booksellers Association Award Finalist, and her second novel, Plant Life, won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. She is the recipient of the 2007 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her third novel, The Big Beautiful, was published in March 2007. She will be teaching creative writing at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC starting this August. Web site: www.pameladuncan.com.

Her comments on judging the 2008 S.C. Fiction Project: "I'm so honored and proud to have been involved as a judge for the 2008 South Carolina Fiction Project. It's a wonderful program, not only because it offers an opportunity for writers to get their work out to readers, but also because it encourages readers to look at writing by new voices. And that's what impressed me most, the voices - their power and quality and diversity. These writers clearly have stories they are burning to tell, and the talent and unique voices to tell them with. It was so hard to narrow the field because so many were wonderful and unforgettable. These stories tickled me, made me cry, scared me, moved me, and sometimes made me say, 'Lord, I wish I'd written that!' One thing many of them had in common was the courage and strength of their characters. Strong women stand up to dangerous men, decent men struggle with temptation, older folks look death in the eye and deal with loss, children face difficult and sometimes fearsome challenges. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, childless parents and parentless children, families and communities in all their many varieties and convolutions wrangle with life and with each other. I loved listening to all these voices, and to the refrain humming through each story: 'Don't forget, always remember, this is how it was, this is how it is, this is how it should be.' "