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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Monday, February 16, 2015


Where are our young poets, fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers studying these days? Some are enrolled at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia near the state line between Georgia and North Carolina, at the former 2 year college that for over 100 years was often number one in the nation and in recent years became a four year college with a strong English Department. 

The big news is these young students are competing among other young writers, three of them having just been named finalist in the 2015 Agnes Scott Creative Competition. 

Three YHC Students Become Finalists in Prestigious Writing Competition
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Three Young Harris College Students Become Finalists in Prestigious Writing Competition
Three Young Harris College students are achieving success in YHC’s blossoming creative writing program. English majors Alison Missler, a senior from Maysville, Emma Jones, a junior from East Ellijay, and Sarah Boudreau, a sophomore from Cumming, were recently selected as nonfiction finalists in the 44th Annual Agnes Scott Writer’s Festival Contest. Representing three out of only five finalists, YHC’s showing in the contest is nothing short of impressive.
“It’s extremely difficult to become a finalist in the Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Contest,” said Director of the Creative Writing Program and Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Chelsea Rathburn. “The competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students across the state of Georgia, and Alison, Emma, and Sarah’s work was read alongside that of writers in Ph.D. programs. This is a huge accomplishment.”
YHC creative writing students are encouraged to submit their best work to various publications and contests throughout the year. The Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Contest is a statewide writing competition for colleges and universities in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The finalists’ works are published in the festival’s magazine, and prestigious visiting writers select the prizewinners in each genre.
“YHC has given me many opportunities to have my work published both locally and statewide including the College’s Corn Creek Review and the Agnes Scott Writing Festival Contest,” said Jones. “The creative writing program’s workshops give me a chance to get feedback which is very helpful if you are aiming to have your work published.”
Beginning with an introductory course that covers multiple genres of writing in their sophomore year, creative writing students participate in writing workshops in their areas of interest. By their senior year, students will have honed in on a specific type of writing or genre.
“The workshop is at the heart of any creative writing program,” said Rathburn. “What sets YHC apart, though, is our small class sizes which allow for one-on-one mentoring from faculty. Our curriculum has been carefully designed to offer students both rigor and the flexibility to pursue their passions.”
The program has gracefully completed the transition from a track-based appendage of the English major to becoming its own fully fledged major at YHC. While current senior English majors could not enjoy all four years of the new program, many can attest to the impact these courses have had on their education.
“I look back at my poems from two years ago and I feel like I was a completely different writer,” said Missler, who is also a finalist in the fiction genre category of the Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Contest. “The English department is continually growing stronger. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a senior and recognize how I’ve grown over the past four years and still see so much potential for the future.”
The major has expanded the number of creative writing classes at YHC while continuing to offer students a strong foundation in literature. Students study the form and theory of poetry or narrative, participate in advanced workshops, and complete an extended creative project their senior year.
“My classes have been fantastic and my professors have helped me engage with and think critically about the material,” said Boudreau. “I’m taking some really interesting courses this semester that make me excited to get up and go to class every day.”
According to Rathburn, the goal of YHC’s creative writing program is to provide an ideal curriculum that prepares students for writing, publishing and various other career opportunities following graduation. Having spent a number of years in the marketing and communications field, Rathburn anticipates a growing demand for quality writers.
“Many of my clients were thrilled to know that I had a strong background in creative writing,” said Rathburn. “From writing for websites, press releases, advertising, and editing magazines or books to attending graduate school or writing the next ‘Great American Novel,’ our creative writing majors can pursue many career opportunities.”
Prizewinners of each category will be announced during the Agnes Scott Writer’s Festival Contest and receive $500 dollars. Finalists will be given the opportunity to read their pieces during the Festival, which takes place in March.
“I can’t say enough how proud I am of Sarah, Emma and Alison,” said Rathburn. “They are all incredible writers and very deserving of this honor.” 

YHC English majors Sarah Boudreau, Emma Jones and Alison Missler were selected as finalists in the Agnes Scott Writer's Festival Contest. They are seen here with Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Chelsea Rathburn.


Glenda C. Beall said...

great article on these young writers and Young Harris College. Looks like this area will continue to produce good writers and poets. Thanks for sharing, Nancy.

Rana Williams said...

Hi Nancy,

I just read on Facebook that Aries: A Journal of art and literature is on hiatus. They have not recieved a lot of support in a lot of ways, so that is the reason for the hiatus. More information about this can be found on their Facebook page. Very sad news.

They have published since 1969 many many poets' work from this great state of North Carolina. Again sad news.

Nancy Simpson said...

Rana, I am sad to hear Aries is not publishing now.
It is sad that we keep losing our literary magazines.
I keep hearing that poetry is alive and well in America but I look around and see not many people reading nor discussing poetry.

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.