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The College of Arts Sciences

MFA student wins Hurston/ Wright Award for college writers

By: Yvette Lisa Ndlovu ,  A&S Communications
Mon, 11/06/2017

Shakarean Hutchinson, a master’s student in the creative writing program, has been named the fiction winner of the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers for her story “How to Kill Pigs.” The award, given annually to black college fiction and poetry writers, is named after Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright.

“Hurston is a hero of mine,” Hutchinson said. “When I read her for the first time in high school it made me believe that I could actually write stories. It was in re-reading Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ that made me want to write again after I had given up on it, so winning something that has her name on it means more than I can ever truly say.”

Founded in 1990 by award-winning author Marita Golden and historian Clyde McElvene, the Hurston/ Wright Foundation is “committed to the development, dissemination, and preservation of literature with a focus on the contributions of African American writers.”  

“How to Kill Pigs,” is a coming-of-age story that deals with issues of race in the south of the 1950s, Hutchinson said.

“Part of the story was inspired by my mother’s stories of how when she was young my grandfather would raise livestock in their backyard, mostly pigs and chickens,” Hutchinson said.  

Hutchinson received a $1,000 cash prize and a certificate to attend a Hurston/ Wright writing workshop. She was honored along with other college winners Oct. 20 at the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards ceremony in Washington D.C

Hutchinson received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston. She is a fiction writer who focuses on the short story, black women literature, women of color literature, intersectionality and the modern day American south. 

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a communications assistant in the College of Arts & Sciences.