The creative writers of MSA’s Literary Arts Department have been generating new writing, revising, workshopping, blogging, assembling their work into chapbook and collection form in creative ways, and submitting to contest and publication opportunities with perseverance and success.

The students also learn from accomplished and established guest writers through virtual masterclasses throughout the school year. Dr. Olivia Clare Friedman of the University of Southern Mississippi joined us for a masterclass on novel writing and the students learned useful tips on the best ways to approach their longer form fiction writing projects, developing and sticking to a writing schedule, character development, world building, ways to think about crafting strong sentences, how to avoid the write a strong middle and push through the end and more! Poet, professor, and librarian C.T. Salazar also joined us and taught us new ways of thinking about our poetry revision processes, gave us insight into his own revision practice as well as his experiences working with book editors for his published poetry books, and he also showed us original versions of Sylvia Plath poetry and how that poetry took surprising new directions through revision.

Our recent wins include Seniors placing in the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association’s 2022 Best of Mississippi Contest:

  • Winner of Best Short Fiction⁣, Morgan Douglas (Madison, MS), author of “Gỏi Cuốn”
  • Winner of Best Dramatic Composition⁣, Worth Novinski (Columbia, MS), author of “Inside Call”
  • Finalist for Best Dramatic Composition, Emma Stapp (Louisville, MS), author of “Selfish Creatures”
  • Finalist for Best Dramatic Composition Finalist, Elliot Nix (Laurel, MS), author of “The View From Inside the China Cabinet”
  • Finalist for Best Poem, Elliot Nix (Laurel, MS), author of “Inhospitable Hometowns”

We also had Seniors place in the Mississippi Theater Association’s High School Playwriting Competition:

  • 1st Place, Elliot Nix (Laurel, MS), “The View From Inside the China Cabinet”
  • 2nd Place, Emma Stapp (Louisville, MS), “Selfish Creatures”
  • 3rd Place, Jordan Brown (Hazlehurst, MS), “Something Domestic”

Finally, Emma Stapp won the Poetry Out Loud In-School Contest for her recitations of “Jacob” by Phoebe Cary and “a song in the front yard” by Gwendolyn Brooks. Stapp will advance to the Regional Contest.

For ongoing literary news, follow us on instagram @msa.literary.