Adrienne Athanas, a senior English major/writing emphasis from Waxshaw, N.C., has been awarded a tuition scholarship to the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College July 1-26. She was one of only 45 applicants from a pool of 400 to receive a scholarship and the only one from a Virginia school. She will attend the Institute’s Intermediate Fiction Workshop.
“I am really humbled and honored by the whole experience of being nominated to apply and then being accepted into such a competitive program,” Adrienne said. “I am really looking forward to my time at Skidmore and know it wouldn’t have been possible without the resources available to me within the creative writing program at LC.”
English professor Laura Marello nominated Adrienne for the scholarship. “I’m very excited,” she said. “It is quite an achievement for our College to send a student to this summer institute, and it is a rare opportunity for Adrienne to attend a professional level writing conference with the highest level of faculty. I’ve always felt LC has an incredible creative writing course of studies, especially with the Thornton Writers Series and all of our great professors.”
Adrienne agrees: “My LC experience has been fundamental to my creative writing. My classes, independent studies, and internships have challenged me to study and discuss writing and literature in life changing ways. My professors have constantly supported me and taken my interest in writing seriously. Without my professors’ support I most likely wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities I’m walking away with as a graduating senior.”
Adrienne’s interest in fiction began at a young age. “I’ve always loved reading fiction, and after reading so many books for a number of years, I had a multitude of ideas for stories,” she said. “I realized it was up to me to write them down or they were going to stay ideas forever. Reading and writing fiction have been my best tools for exploring and coming to conclusions about life in general.”
Adrienne has studied fiction and advanced fiction with Professor Marello; expository writing with her advisor Dr. Chidsey Dickson, associate professor of English; as well as poetry, creative nonfiction, and literature. She serves as a fiction editor on The Prism, LC’s student literary magazine, and has worked as an intern at Bella Magazine in Lynchburg.
The scholarship competition is open to students enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate programs who are nominated by their creative writing instructors. In 2012 the Institute awarded scholarships to students from a number of colleges and universities including Columbia, Harvard, University of Iowa, Sarah Lawrence, Yale, Princeton, Boston University, Georgetown, Ohio State, Smith, University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA.