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Washington College student to receive Sophie Kerr Prize

May 18, 2012

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — A short-story writer dedicated to giving authentic voice to characters as they try to connect with the people closest to them is the 2012 winner of the nation’s largest student literary award.

Kathryn J. Manion will receive the Sophie Kerr Prize on Sunday at Washington College’s commencement. She will receive a check for $58,274.

Manion and four other finalists read their poetry and fiction aloud on May 15 at a private event in midtown Manhattan, then watched internationally celebrated novelist Colum McCann open an envelope and announce her name as the 2012 winner.

The other four finalists — Natalie L. Butz of Falls Church, Va., Douglas S. Carter Jr. of Pasadena, Md., Maria N. Queen of Hagerstown and Erica A. Walburg of Pewaukee, Wis. — submitted strong portfolios of poetry, essays, fiction and scholarship to rise to the top of the 35 seniors vying for this year’s prize.

For 44 years, the Sophie Kerr Prize has gone to the graduating senior at Washington College who demonstrates the greatest literary ability and promise.

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