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Enrollment & Advancement Center • University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

UMFK-sponsored writing contest winners announced

April 17, 2014

Note: this is an archived news release. As such, the information provided may no longer apply.


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Presidential Lecture Series judges have made their decision, and three individuals will be awarded as the winners of the spring 2014 semester bi-annual writing contest. The theme for the contest was “Where I'm From.”

The contest winner is Theresa Biggs. Theresa is originally from South Africa and came to UMFK as a student athlete. She graduated in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in University Studies in Elementary Education. Currently, Theresa is the University's assistant director of Student Activities and Residence Life. Theresa's winning essay is titled, “The Ancient Rusty & Dusty Farm.”

Michelle Labbe, the second place winner, works for the TRIO College Access Services at the University of Maine at Presque Isle as a college access advisor. Michelle lives in Eagle Lake, Maine, where she and her husband and their two boys are building a micro farm. Michelle's essay is called, “Where I'm From.”

Born and raised in the beautiful St. John Valley, Bobbie Morrow is the third place winner. Presently living in Presque Isle, Maine with her husband, Bobbie retired in 2012 after 37 years as an elementary school teacher.. “I Come From Blue,”is the title of Bobbie's essay.

The panel of jurists for the UMFK Presidential Lecture Series Writing Contest include: Lise Pelletier, director of UMFKs Acadian Archives Acadiennes; Dr. Doris Metz, UMFK associate professor of curriculum and instruction; and, Dorothy Hopkins, retired UMFK writing specialist.

Each essay submitted for the 2013 - 2014 Presidential Lecture Series Writing Contest was read by the judges without their knowing the name of the author. They were unanimous in agreeing that congratulations are extended to Simon C. Beeching, the winner of this year's Ourson Literary Award. His essay, submitted in the fall semester contest, is titled, "To The Edge of the Forest Kingdom." Beeching is a 1985 graduate of UMFK and teaches vertebrate zoology at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the Ourson Literary Award is to encourage beginning writers and to acknowledge their contributions to the creativity of the area. The award offers in a small tangible way, an appreciation for the emerging efforts of those who wish to develop their creative writing skills. The award is not just for professional quality work, but for the best early efforts of writers. The award is to encourage achievement, not just to acknowledge excellence.

The six winning entries from the fall 2013 and spring 2014 writing contests will be published in the Potato Chips Chapbook. The chapbook will be distributed at the UMFK Scholars' Symposium to be held on Friday, April 25.