This fall Brittany Newell had barely settled into her freshman year at Stanford University when she learned that she had won the Norman Mailer Award for Fiction for her story "Bad Kids." Soon, she boarded a plane to attend a gala event in New York City, alongside many notable personalities including Garrison Keillor, Oliver Stone, Joyce Carol Oates and Muhammad Ali. Alec Baldwin served as the master of ceremonies.
The award is presented by The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony and the National Council of Teachers of English. The first round was judged by a national panels of teachers and writers and finalists were judged by a panel of distinguished authors.
Mika Perrine, the director of the creative writing program described the Norman Mailer Awards as extremely competitive. "We were thrilled to learn that Brittany received first place with a story originally published in the Interlochen Review," said Perrine. (Note: The story "Bad Kids" contains language and material that may not be appropriate for younger readers.)
"Brittany's voice as a fiction writer is fresh, raw and musical," said Perrine. "She does not shy away from challenging subjects, and her characters are convincingly flawed, full of conflicting desires. Her precise attention to the nuances of sound and rhythm makes her language striking and original. Her stories read almost like songs." Newell worked closely with instructor Chris Dombrowski on polishing her work in his Elements of Fiction class.
Newell attended Interlochen Arts Academy as a senior after winning the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition in 2011, which comes with a $30,000 scholarship for first prize. The creative writing department is currently accepting portfolios for the 2013 scholarship competition. For complete details visit the Virginia B. Ball contest page.