Vermillion student wins
creative writing contest Vermillion middle school student Kelsey Nemec was honored in the Paul Witherington Creative Writing Contest at South Dakota State University. Under the direction of English teacher Suzanne Johnson, Nemec was awarded third place for her piece "A Nightmare." The 2009 Witherington Creative Writing Contest attracted over 250 entries from 30 South Dakota communities. The contest offered two categories: "Fiction," and "Non-fiction," and was open to both middle school and high school students. SDSU students created the Witherington contest in 1993 to honor Paul Witherington, professor emeritus of English at SDSU who retired that year. Witherington's stories have appeared in "Chicago Review," "Epoch," "South Carolina Review," "Kansas Quarterly" and many other creative writing magazines. The contest provides a creative writing outlet for South Dakota middle school and high school students and includes cash prizes for the top three high school and middle school students in each category, publication and a discussion of the submissions in a professional forum. The Witherington Creative Writing Contest is judged by Desiree Weber of Sioux Falls in conjunction with Assistant Professor Christine Stewart-Nuñez and the SDSU English Department. This year's contest was sponsored by Apex Technology Solutions Group. This year's winners were honored at the Great Plains Writers' Conference on Monday, March 23. They read their pieces at a program in the Student Union on campus. Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state's Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from eight different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and options. The institution also offers 23 master's degree programs and 12 Ph.D. programs.