Saturday, January 19, 2019
The Profile

Four Agnes Writer Festival Finalists Discuss Their Awarded Works

Ciel Zhang

Staff Writer

The four Agnes student finalists of the Writer’s Festival Contest gave a public reading of their awarded creative pieces Tuesday, April 4th to kick off the 46th Writer’s Festival at Agnes Scott.

Six pieces were shared with the public, four of which were nonfiction and two poetry. The awarded students are the following individuals: Lauren Godfrey, Anna Lachkaya, Molly McDaniel, Anastasia McCray, and Emma Sachs. 

Each writer, except for Emma Sachs ‘18, was interviewed by The Profile.  Emma is currently studying abroad. Her awarded piece, “Falling,” is about a family falling as trees fall in their family garden. In lieu of Emma Sachs, Allison Dupuis ‘18 presented “Falling” to the audience at the reading.

The links provided above will send this webpage directly to that writer’s discussion of their work.

Lauren Godfrey

Graduated from Agnes Scott last December, Lauren Godfrey ‘16 is a fresh alumna who currently works at Hirsch Academy in Decatur. She went from being a poet to being a creative nonfiction writer during her time at Agnes Scott. Her piece, the non-fiction “If You Can Hear Your Neighbors, You Are Not Singing Loud Enough,” is about a lesser-known music tradition in the United States called “shape note singing.” She believes her intensive research and active participation in this tradition helped her personal essay go to the final round. Lauren remarked that she also loves to write about baking, saying “I’m a huge bread nerd.”

Anna Lachkaya

Anna Lachkaya ‘18, a Woodruff Scholar, is double majoring in English Literature-Creative Writing and Human Rights. Anna’s awarded piece is a short memoir titled “Coffee Conversations,” a true story that started off as food writing and ended up being about the revealing of a out-of-wedlock pregnancy to her conservative family. “I write from a very different place,” said Anna, identifying herself as an immigrant in the US, “and yet I write so much about families.” She describes the themes in her writing to be a little somber, since she writes extensively about the disintegration within a family, with a touch of humor and reconciliation at the end of her pieces. Anna used to run a creative blog with her sister called “One Word at a Time.” She and her sister wrote and drew according to a selected word of that week.

Molly McDaniel

A third time poetry finalist, Molly McDaniel ‘18 is a English Literature – Creative Writing major. Her selected poem, “Persephone Shows All the Symptoms of PTSD,” was written for a class under a prompt that demands mythological element. She said  she was surprised to see her poem, the earliest piece among the three she has submitted to the contest, to be selected. Having completed all poetry writing classes available at Agnes Scott, Molly keeps a journal for “bad writings” because for her, “every piece of writing is bad writing until it is good”– a bold emphasis on the process of revision. Molly believes that, “writing is an art form that is deeply appreciated in this community” and that “the Writer’s Festival allows for this individual art to have special chances for public sharing.” She also disclosed that the Writer’s Festival was one of the determining factors of her choosing Agnes Scott.

Anastasia McCray

Anastasia McCray is the only finalist this year who won in two categories as well as the only one who does not major in English Literature – Creative Writing. A current senior majoring in Public Health, Anastasia writes about a variety of topics. Her winning pieces, “How to Make Ma’Ma’s Biscuits” in nonfiction and “My Mother’s Child” in poetry, though sharing similar titles, are respectively about family affection and racial tension. “How to Make Ma’Ma’s Biscuits” is written in the format of an actual recipe that transmits the special love from her grandmother to herself while “My Mother’s Child” is inspired by a series of encounters, news stories, and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Anastasia describes the creative processes as “breathing life into something new in a way that maybe no one else has thought of before.”She wishes for others to find joy and inspiration from her works.


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