Four students at Alderson Broaddus University have received top honors in the annual writing contests sponsored by the Alderson Broaddus literature and writing faculty and the student group AB Writers.

In the poetry contest, Jessica Spruill, a senior English major from Philippi, West Virginia, received first place for her poem “Swing Sonnet” and second place for her poem “Winter Pantoum: Clenching their fists against coming cold.” In addition, her poem “Untitled: XVII” received an honorable mention from the judge. Third place was awarded to Lanessa Murphy, a junior English major from Philippi, for her poem “Coal Miner.”

First place in the short story contest was awarded to Rob Reaser, an English major from Moatsville, West Virginia, for his story “The Tree.” Jessica Spruill received second place for her story “Casey Love” and third place for “Memoirs.” The story “The Cornbread Caper” by Andrea Sall, a sophomore English major from Vienna, West Virginia, received an honorable mention from the judge.

The judge for the contest this year was Anne Clinard Barnhill. Ms. Barnhill earned a B.A. in English from Alderson Broaddus University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She is the author of the memoir At Home in the Land of Oz: Autism, My Sister, and Me and a volume of short stories, What You Long For. Her work has also appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including, most recently, The Antietam Review and Racing Home: New Stories from Award-Winning North Carolina Writers. Other publications include the story “Washing Helen’s Hair,” from the Grammy-nominated anthology Grow Old Along With Me, and “The Swing,” from Generation to Generation. She currently has a two-book contract with St. Martin's Press for historical novels set in Tudor England. The first novel, At the Mercy of the Queen, will appear early in 2012.

The winning poems, along with other works by Alderson Broaddus University students, faculty, and alumni, will appear in InFlux 2011, the literary magazine sponsored by the College literature and writing faculty and AB Writers. For information about receiving this publication, or about the creative writing program at Alderson Broaddus University, contact Professor Carol Del Col, faculty adviser for InFlux and chair of the Division of Humanities, at 304 457-6301 or