Student Wins $64,243 Writing Prize
HAILEY REISSMAN, AN ENGLISH MAJOR AT Washington College in Maryland, won this year’s Sophie Kerr Prize——in the form of $64,243.
The largest undergraduate literary prize in the country, the Sophie Kerr Prize is awarded every year to the Washington College senior who demonstrates the greatest “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor.” The award is named for a prolific American writer of the 1930s and ’40s, who wrote 23 novels and more than 100 stories, and left more than $500,000 to the college when she died in 1965.
English Department Chair Kate Moncrief has this to say about this year’s winner: “She doesn’t have a weak area. She writes with a sophisticated voice but also with great humor.”
“My writing comes out of the mush of living life, all the experiences and ideas that come with just being around for the time that I have,” says Hailey.
Mark Nowak, the director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, was struck by the “fully developed voice” in such a young writer.”She is wildly creative,” he says, “and an exceptional talent whose writing electrifies everyone who reads it. She’s destined for great things.”
In the near future, Hailey plans to work in the public relations department of a college, where she’ll continue to write.