First Place: Radhika Tyagi, ’18, biology and English double-major

Tyagi“At the University of Maryland, I graduated from the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House program in May 2017. The program fosters a close-knit writing community and I have taken advantage of many of the wonderful opportunities it has afforded me. I would use the scholarship to partially fund a summer writing workshop. I have always wanted to participate in an immersive summer workshop, as I think it would be a wonderful, enlightening experience.”


Read Radhika Tyagi’s winning entry, “How to Lose a Cat to Burma.”


Runner-Up: Carolina Muerkens, ’18, Germanic studies major and music performance minor

Muerkens“As a student of languages and creative writing, I often think to myself, ‘Why does studying and writing fiction even matter?’ The answer lies in the stories we tell and the connections we build through them. I am interested in both: in the perplexing questions and in the intricacies of everyday life. As many writers do, I write about what I know and I gather these details through memories of childhood, old and new relationships, and traveling. When people ask me what I want to do after graduation my answer is always: travel and write. I hope that by further enriching my life, I will be able to enrich the lives of others through storytelling.”

Read Carolina Muerkens’s second-prize entry, “Isolda.”


Runner-Up: Asma Shah, ’19, criminology and criminal justice major with minors in computer science and creative writing

Shah“My love for writing didn’t become more than a hobby until recently when I got the opportunity to write articles for the University of Maryland’s chapter of the Odyssey Online. Through this position, I have been able to use my love of storytelling to share and voice ideas and truths I am not seeing conveyed anywhere else. As a writer, I understand the importance of using stories and narratives as a unique and powerful way to communicate different ideas and concepts. I’ve been honing my writing skills through various courses at UMD as I pursue a minor in creative writing.”


Read Asma Shah’s second-prize entry, “The Storm Chasers.”