English grads win TACWT creative writing contest

Posted September 17, 2011

English graduates Bethany Bradshaw ('11) and Tanner Hadfield ('11) came out on top in the 2011 Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers, or TACWT, writing contest. The winners each received $100 in prize money and an invitation to read their works later this month at TACWT's annual meeting in Austin. Bradshaw and Hadfield competed against university students statewide, including those from the University of Texas, Texas Tech University and the University of Houston. Bradshaw earned first place in the undergraduate poetry category, and Hadfield won first place in the undergraduate fiction category.

Al Haley, associate professor of English and writer-in-residence, who nominated the students, says the English department's capable faculty and its top-notch classes, particularly the creative writing workshops in particular have encouraged the student's successes. "For a long time now, the creative writing workshops have been one of the outstanding aspects of the English Department at ACU," Haley says. He points out that over the past decade, student stories, poems and essays written in workshops have won 11 firsts and 14 seconds in various contests. "This year's results affirm that our students just keep getting better."

Hadfield wrote his winning work "Snowing in Darling" during instructor Heidi Nobles' fiction workshop last fall.  He is now in his first semester at the University of Colorado earning his MFA in creative writing. Along with his classes, Hadfield is working as a graduate teaching assistant, writing a novella, creating an art-zine and judging poetry contests. Bradshaw is currently living in Raleigh, N.C., enjoying the East Coast climate and earning her M.A. from the University of North Carolina. These students are only two of many talented individuals in the English department.

"It makes me proud. This is what writing is about – having other people notice your words and respond to them in a positive way," says Haley.  

To see what the English department has to say about the contest results, visit the English department blog.