Truman Capote Literary Trust Creative Writing Scholarship 2020-21 Winners Announced

Students Jay Phillips and Victoria Goff, were recognized for their achievements in poetry as the 2020-21 Truman Capote Literary Trust Creative Writing Scholarship winner and runner-up. First place winner Jay Phillips is a junior English major with a creative writing concentration from Charlotte, N.C. Phillips has been awarded $3,649 in scholarship for her poems “Only,” “Almost,” “it’s 1:54 am and i’m st*ned” and “Nigrescence.” In Fall 2020, Phillips also won the new Margie Idol Scholarship in poetry, making it only the second time that a student has won a writing scholarship in the fall as well as the Capote scholarship in the spring.

The final judge for the competition was Jacinta White, author of “Resurrecting the Bones: Born from a Journey through African American Churches & Cemeteries in the Rural South,” published in 2019. White was originally scheduled to read in Appalachian’s Spring 2020 Hughlene Bostian Frank Writer Series, but as it was postponed due to COVID-19, White instead will be the opening reader in the Fall 2020 Visiting Writers Series, which will be hosted virtually.

“Jay's poetry slams the page with such clear rawness that you're drawn in immediately. Here, the craft of poetry serves as a container for which metaphors and history guide your gaze inside of a life-ours and the poet's-and you're on a journey into what may be unfamiliar. You leave the page with beautifully complex images that stay with you. This is what great storytelling does, and Jay's poetry does just that,” said Jacinta White.

Goff, the runner up, submitted poems entitled,“Whirlpool,” “How to Flip A Record,” “Leaving the Living Room” and “Generation Z.”

“Inside Victoria's poems you find more poems mirroring what is missing, what has fallen, what is broken, what has been left unsaid. Her commanding lines whisper for us to come closer and invite us to, perhaps, see something differently,” said White.

The Truman Capote Literary Trust Award in Creative Writing is open to rising or continuing juniors or seniors at Appalachian who are English majors with a concentration in creative writing. The award alternates between fiction and poetry each year and is supported by the Truman Capote Literary Trust Fund, endowed by the late author’s estate to support scholarships in Appalachian’s creative writing program. Next year’s Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship competition will be in prose and guidelines will be posted on the English Department’s web page in mid-February. To learn more about this scholarship opportunity and others in Appalachian’s Department of English, visit

Jay Phillips
Jay Phillips, junior
English, Creative Writing 
Charlotte, North Carolina

Victoria Goff

Victoria Goff, junior
English, Creative Writing
Akron, Ohio


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

2020-21 Truman Capote Literary Trust Creative Writing Scholarship winner, judge and runner-up. Left to right: Victoria Goff (photo submitted), author Jacinta White (photo submitted) and Jay Phillips (photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette).
Published: Aug 11, 2020 11:03am