Marian Coe, John Foster West and Marjorie Idol 2021 Scholarship Winners

Four students attending Appalachian State University, Zoe Benfield, senior from Statesville; Kaitlin Rous, junior from Clayton; Teagan Compton, senior from Clayton and Lyndsi Pointer, senior from Lenior, were awarded scholarships for the 2021 academic year after winning the fall scholarship creative writing competitions in poetry and prose. 

Zoe Benfield and Kaitlin Rous are the winners of this year's spring prose scholarships.

Benfield, an English major, won the Marjorie Idol scholarship in prose with her short story submission, “The Third Woman in Space.” Benfield was also awarded the Rogers and Janice Whitener scholarship for Spring 2021. 

“Receiving this scholarship has been a financial blessing but has also increased my confidence as a writer. I have a handful of short story publications in small literary magazines, but to be recognized by my university for a prose manuscript of mine, out of many other submissions, is so uplifting. I am a 25-year-old non-traditional student, and recognition like this reminds me that I made the right decision by returning to school,” said Benfield.

Rous, an English, creative writing and Communications, public relations major, won the Marian Coe scholarship in prose with their short story titled; “SILHOUETTE.” 

"If someone told my thirteen-year-old self that I’d one day win a writing competition, I would have never believed them. Attending App has done wonders for my writing. I am forever thankful to be surrounded by such an inspirational and supportive community,” said Rous.

Teagan Compton, an English major, won the Marjorie Idol scholarship in poetry. This is the second year Compton has received this award, this year with submissions titled: "Blue and Green Music," "Lacuna," "The Roanoke Star" and "Cedar Grove."

“I was so honored and appreciative to have been recognized for doing the thing I love most. The English department is overflowing with brilliant educators and it is because of them that I push my brain to create every day,” said Compton.

The winner of the John Foster West scholarship in poetry is Lyndsi Pointer, a Communications major concentrating in public relations. Pointer submitted four works titled “Be Sure Flame is Completely Out After Each Use,” “A Droopy Mess That Can’t be Saved, Not Even by a Botanist,” “Psilocybin Dreams” and “The Crow And The Snake.”

“I am grateful to be recognized for my poetry, I write my daydreams and engulf myself in the imagery. I hope even just one reader can get lost and daydream with me too,” said Pointer.

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

Creative Prose writers are invited to enter the Truman Capote Creative Writing Scholarship Competition for 2021-22. Writers must enter by March 24, 2021. This competition is open to rising and continuing junior and senior English majors at Appalachian concentrating in creative writing. The spring virtual visiting writer’s series novelist Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle will serve as the final judge with guidelines being announced mid-February.


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 the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at

Feb. 18, 2021
By James Johnston

Left to right, top to bottom; Zoe Benfield, Kaitlin Rous, Teagan Compton, Lyndsi Pointer Marian Coe, John Foster West and Marjorie Idol 2021 Scholarship Winners. Photos of winners submitted.
Published: Feb 18, 2021 12:59pm