Marian Coe, John Foster West and Marjorie Idol 2020 Scholarship Winners

The fall scholarship creative writing competition: poetry and prose was open to all full-time students attending Appalachian State University and four students were awarded scholarships for the 2020 academic year.

“Congratulations to our winners! And thank you to everyone who entered. It's an absolute pleasure to be part of a community of such talented and committed writers. I'm grateful to all of you,” said Mark Powell, director of the creative writing program.

Brooke Hayhurst and Jay Phillips, the first winners of the new Marjorie Idol Scholarship in prose and poetry, were each awarded a $1,120 scholarship. Hayhurst, a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing, received the creative prose award. Phillips, a sophomore English major with a concentration in creative writing from Charlotte, North Carolina received the poetry award. Phillips submitted four works titled “Almost,” “Gain,” “Nigrescence” and “Only.”

Sadie Maddock, a senior electronic media and broadcast production major from Pittsboro, North Carolina, was awarded the John Foster West Scholarship for creative prose and received a $612 award for her piece titled “Mycelium.” Maddock also received an honorable mention for poetry.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to submit this story and I am additionally grateful to receive the John Foster West Scholarship,” said Maddock.

Teagan Compton, a junior English major from Clayton, North Carolina, was awarded the Marian Coe Scholarship for poetry and received $992. Compton submitted four works titled "A Spiraling Rant to My Notebook at 3:12 am While My Roommate Pretends They're Asleep," "Why Am I Wearing a Crop Top in This Weather," "Florence 2018" and "September— JulyAugustSeptember."

“I want to thank the creative writing professors I had last semester who encouraged me to labor over my words and create something that was real and fluorescent,” said Compton.

Saylor Ferguson, a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing from Raleigh, North Carolina, received an honorable mention in poetry. Ferguson submitted poems titled “Red Roof Inn,” “Becoming Author,” “Winter Battle” and “Minivan Montages.”

"I only began writing poetry in the fall of 2019 while taking a creative writing poetry class. I submitted four of the poems that I had written for my poetry class and was completely surprised to see that my poems received an honorable mention. The poems I submitted focused largely on memories of family and nature such as moments on road trips, hiking excursions, a love letter to a deceased family member and a memorable falconry experience,” said Ferguson.

Edward Rojas, a senior philosophy major from Boone, North Carolina, received an honorable mention in creative prose for his story titled “Candy Floss.”

“I would like to thank Mark Powell for letting me know about the competition and Kayla Whitaker for helping me improve my story,” said Rojas.

The creative writing contest judge, Charles Dodd White, is the author of three novels and a short story collection. He has been recognized for excellence in Appalachian writing with the Chaffin Award. He has also received a fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. White lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his family and he teaches English at Pellissippi State Community College. His novel, “In the House of Wilderness,” won the 2018 Appalachian Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writers Association.

"I was excited to have a chance to read so many submissions that reflect the best in new student writing we have coming out of the region. Reading new work is one of the great pleasures we have as writers and teachers. I'm happy to say that this year's submissions didn't disappoint," said White.

The John Foster West Endowed Creative Writing Prize, Marian Coe Scholarship in Creative Writing and Marjorie South Idol Prize for Fiction and Creative Prose are all awarded to winners of a joint creative writing competition held every fall semester at Appalachian State University. More information about these scholarship awards can be found at:


About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

By Maddie Seehafer
Feb. 11, 2020

Marian Coe, John Foster West and Marjorie Idol 2020 Scholarship Winners
Published: Feb 11, 2020 11:10am