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Wofford alumna receives Benjamin Wofford Prize

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

ScrapSPARTANBURG, S.C. – A novel by Lauren Stephenson, a 2006 Wofford College graduate from Cape Coral, Fla., has been published as the winner of the Benjamin Wofford Prize for Writing. The book, titled “Scrap,” is the seventh winner of the award for fiction.

Stephenson, who received her B.A. degree in English, was captain of the women’s golf team and co-chair of Wofford’s chapter of Amnesty International. She is a member of Blue Key National Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa, and currently lives in Boston, Mass., where she is a graduate student in writing and publishing at Emerson College. She will be on campus Thursday, May 3, to distribute and sign copies of her novel.

“This novella maintains the ‘vivid and continuous dream’ of a fictional world throughout,” says award-winning Southern author Mindy Friddle. “Between readings, I thought of it, and found the narrative and protagonist engaging. The premise—a disturbing futuristic world where pharmaceutical corporations have taken over—is not exactly unique, but the details dropped in gracefully throughout help create a creepy, dark, and believable world.”

The Benjamin Wofford Prize is awarded for works judged clearly superior. Rucht Lilavivat’s novel, “The Stars of Canaan,” received the first award, published in 1995, followed by Travis Wheeler’s novel, “The Joshua Requiem” in 1997; Mac Leaphart’s novel, “Strange Light” in 1999; Josh Hudson’s “When You Fall” in 2001; Liz Scarborough’s “Tangle” in 2003; and Thomas Pierce’s “said the dark fishes” in 2004. In 2000, Scott Neely’s “A Good Road to Walk” became the first winner of the Benjamin Wofford Prize for Nonfiction, and in 2005, Emily Smith’s “baboon heart” became the first winner in the category of poetry.

The college publishes 2,000 paperback copies of the winners of the prize, distributing them to Wofford students, honors students in high schools, high school and college English teachers, book review editors, and creative writing professors at other campuses.