Young Iowan Wins Creative Writing Scholarship Contest

Molly McDaniel, a high school junior from Alta, Iowa, has been selected as the winner of the 2012-2013 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition. As the winner, Molly will receive a $30,000 scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy where she will study with a faculty of published authors and other students who share her love for writing and the arts.

The opportunity is an interesting and unexpected twist for Molly as she enters her senior year in high school. “Before Interlochen, I had never considered a boarding school. However, the opportunities presented by Interlochen align perfectly with my interests, goals and passion, so I am incredibly excited for this new experience.” After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in 2014, Molly hopes to major in English and one day earn a master’s degree and publish a book of poetry.

“We were particularly impressed with her poetry, which is startling, intuitive and fresh,” said Mika Perrine, director of the creative writing program at Interlochen Center for the Arts. “The voice and imagery are intertwined with a mesmerizing, dreamlike power. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her next year.”

“We can't imagine a school that is a better match for Molly than Interlochen Arts Academy,” said Molly’s mother, Kathleen McDaniel. “We are so grateful that she is going to spend next year with fellow students who are passionate about writing and teachers who will be able to mentor her as a writer. While we will certainly miss her greatly next year and are still adjusting to the idea of her leaving home in less than six months, we are mainly feeling great excitement for this amazing opportunity.”

More than 300 young writers from across the country and around the globe entered the 2012 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition, which bears the name of a remarkable philanthropist who passed away in 2003. A commitment from the Edmund E. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation endowed a biennial creative writing competition that provides substantial scholarship support for the winner to attend Interlochen Arts Academy as a creative writing major.