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South Carolina Fiction Project

2011 Winners

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This year's honorees are:

Christopher J. Calcara

Christopher J. Calcara completed his degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. He worked eight years in advertising, promotions and publicity in Kansas and Missouri. He later moved to Arizona and to Florida before making Charleston his home. His experiences living in each of these areas have inspired and informed his work. Calcara has written in fiction and semi-fiction genres that include short stories, memoirs, poetry, plays and novellas. He has collaborated with composers to write plays with music such as Joan, a play about Joan of Arc. Calcara belongs to the Lowcountry Creative Writing Forum, a writers' group in Charleston.

Melinda Cotton

Melinda Cotton, a South Carolina native, is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and son in West Columbia. She recently left the legal field with 20 years of paralegal experience. She is a member of the South Carolina Writers' Workshop, and has had two personal essays, No Time to Write, and Growing Pains, selected and published in their annual literary journal, The Petigru Review. She prefers Southern writing and authors, and is currently at work on a legal mystery set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

James McCallister

James D. McCallister is a small business entrepreneur, novelist, freelance journalist and Midlands Technical College adjunct professor whose work has appeared in regional and national magazines. McCallister's fiction credits include a novel, King's Highway (Red Letter Press, 2007), as well as short stories featured in literary journals such as Pearl, Moonshine online, The Final Draft and Petigru Review. A prior S.C. Fiction Project winner, his story, Howdy from Upstairs, was honored as part of the 2008 group of awardees. His latest publication is included in the Kearney Street Books anthology The Storyteller Speaks: Rare and Different Fictions of the Grateful Dead. He resides in West Columbia with his wife of 20 years and a houseful of cats.

Bertice Robinson

Bertice Robinson lives in Spartanburg, where she pursues interests in genealogy and writing. Active in local and state writers groups, she has completed an unpublished novel, read at area events and had articles published in the local newspaper. The Hub City Writers Project awarded Robinson with the Scot Lax prize to attend the Wild Acres Writers Workshop in Spruce Pines, N.C., in July 2010. She grew up in Newberry County and enjoys writing the dialogue of her childhood. She and her husband, retired educators, take pleasure in spending time with their granddaughters.

SC Fiction Project Winner John SaylorJohn R. Saylor was born and raised in New York and has lived in Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland and Connecticut.  He has been writing short stories since the early 1990s. He has degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Buffalo, the University of Minnesota and Yale University, where he received his doctorate. He currently works as a professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University and has been residing in Seneca since 2000.

Michel Stone

Michel Stone has published over a dozen stories and essays, including the title story in Expecting Goodness and Other Stories (Hub City Press, 2009), which was runner-up in the Independent Publisher IPPY Awards for the top collection of short fiction in North America in 2009.  Her work has appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer's emerging Southern writers series.  She is a winner of S.C. Magazine's Very Short Fiction Contest as well as the Hub City Fiction Prize. Stone was the editor of Outdoor Adventures in the Upcountry (Hub City Press, 2010). Her novel, The Iguana Tree, will be published by Hub City in spring 2010. She is an alumna of the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Raised on Johns Island, Stone now lives in Spartanburg. 

Trish Vicino

Trish Vicino teaches English at Berkeley High School and Trident Technical College. She has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in writing in addition to her teaching certification. Most recently, Vicino completed the National Writing Project's Summer Institute at The Citadel. Her short story, A Roof the Color of Desire, won second place in Charleston Magazine's 2009 Lowcountry Fiction Contest, and her ekphrastic poem Over End was selected by South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth for placement in MUSC's Ashley River Tower.  She lives in Summerville and writes around a busy social schedule. 

David Wright

David A. Wright lives in Travelers Rest and teaches English at Furman University.  He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of South Carolina.  His winning story, Remember, No Thinking, is the excerpted first chapter to a novel-in-progress titled Ernest, which is an adaptation of Voltaire’s satirical novel Candide.


About the Judge:

Rae Paris

Rae Paris is the recipient of a 2010 NEA Literature Fellowship. The title story of her collection, The Girl Who Ate Her Own Skin, was a recommended story in the 2009 O. Henry Prize Stories. The collection was a finalist for the 2008 Flannery O'Connor Award in Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in Indiana Review and other journals. She is the recipient of writing residencies from Hedgebrook, Norcroft and VONA. She is from Carson, Calif., and currently lives in Tempe, Ariz.