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Renée Ahee
Director, Communications and Marketing
O: (313) 927-1438; M: (586) 484-2390
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2017 Mary Helen Washington Writing Award Contest Winners

DETROIT, April 7, 2017 — Marygrove College’s Department of English and Modern Languages is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Mary Helen Washington Writing Award Contest, offered in conjunction with its Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS). Named after nationally-renowned scholar, editor, essayist, and teacher Dr. Mary Helen Washington, and supported through the generosity of series sponsors Lillian and Don Bauder, this annual contest invites students to write essays in response to the works of the CAALS guest artist, which this year is fiction writer and graphic novelist Mat Johnson. Students were asked to present a critical analysis of Johnson’s work or offer personal reflections on an aspect of his work that the student writer found significant.

The College congratulates:

First Prize:
Angel Phillips, “The Best Part of an Oreo,” Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan

Second Prize (three winners):

  • Mi’Kelle Williams, “Not Black Enough,” Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan
  • Diego Navarrete, “Mestizaje,” Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan
  • Dipita Das, “Umoja or Machafuko in America?” Cass Technical High School, Detroit, Michigan

Honorable Mentions (two winners):

  • Jalica Porter, “Resisting the Accepted Perspective: Being Black,” Detroit International Academy for Young Women
  • Tatyana Lewis, “Whole not Half,” Arts Academy in the Woods, Warren, Michigan

The first and second-prize winners will receive their certificates of achievement and awards, and the students receiving honorable mentions will receive their certificates of achievement at the Master Class with Mat Johnson on April 7.

This year marks the 29th Contemporary American Authors Lecture, and features a reading and book signing by Mr. Johnson, which will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 7, in Alumnae Hall on the Marygrove College campus. The event is free and open to the public.





Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit at 8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221;