DENTON (UNT), Texas — The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Biographers International Organization, and Big Thought, a nonprofit organization in Dallas providing creative learning programs, have announced 10 winners of this year’s Mayborn National History Writing Competition for high school and community college students.
The competition, which was created to develop interest in writing narrative nonfiction, provided the students with free registration, hotel accommodations and meals to the 2013 conference, and transportation to and from the conference, which is been hosted each year by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. This year’s conference was held July 19-21 at the Hilton DFW Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas.
The conference began offering a writing contest for students ages 14-25 in 2011. The 2011 and 2012 competitions focused on biography, but conference organizers decided to focus this year's contest on historical narratives to go with the conference theme -- unearthing the past. Participants submitted accounts of those who witnessed historical events and wrote about events and characters in history that have left lasting marks on communities and shaped their towns' futures. The winners’ narratives will be published in The Dallas Morning News during 2014.
This year’s National History Writing Competition winners and the titles of their narratives are:
•Nicholas Bostick of Dallas, attending Brookhaven Community College, for “Café Momentum”
•John Brundrett of Manvel, Texas, attending Alvin Community College, for “Farewell to Camelot”
•Kathryn E. DeBruler of Dallas, attending Brookhaven Community College, for “On the right track”
•Tisha Harnlasiri of San Jose, Calif., attending Prospect High School, for “1982: The catch”
•Kiernan Majerus-Collins of Hartford, Conn., attending Hall High School, for “A revolutionary life”
•Alexis Richie of Dallas, attending Yavneh Academy of Dallas, for “Lee Harvey Oswald”
•Justin David Tate of Balch Springs, attending Eastfield College, for “92 and still swinging”
•Shreeya Umashankar of New Delhi, India, attending Delhi Public School, for “A revolutionary life”
•Anjulie Van Sickle of Dallas, attending Eastfield College, for “Mesquite history comes alive”
•Shannon Viola of Brunswick, Maine, attending Brunswick High School, for “22 Knots on a sea of glass”
George Getschow, conference writer-in-residence and principal lecturer of UNT’s Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, said the contest judges and organizers were thrilled to see that students who entered “learned to appreciate how the lens of history can offer perspective and understanding of contemporary society.”
“Journalism is the first draft of history, and we wanted students across the country to make that connection for themselves by writing about historical events and characters that have shaped their communities in ways that are still playing out today,” he said.
This year's contest was launched last October with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers, best known for Flags of Our Fathers, presenting two lectures on writing historical narratives at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. About 600 students from across Texas attended his lectures.
“The Bush Library Education Department is honored and grateful to be part of this very important endeavor to provide a learning forum and motivation for our youth who are our nation’s future leaders in journalism,” said Shirley Hammond, the library and museum’s director of education.
Note to editors: Go to this page on The Dallas Morning News website to read the work of the winners of the 2012 competition, which focused on biography.