The Sparks Prize:

Awarded to a distinguished graduate of the Creative Writing Program as a post-graduation year of residency and writing time, funded by Nicholas Sparks. It is based on the quality of their writing and the likelihood that the submission will be published or will be developed into a publishable book.

2020 Winner: Greg Havrilak

Havrilak Bio Photo


Former stock boy, farm hand, foot messenger, gas station attendant, landscaper, writing tutor, and special ed teacher, G.C. Havrilak has buffed floors in the Yale Club at 4am, and prepared international physicians for the Step 2 CS test. He is proudest of rearing two kind, creative daughters - that, and being named a Brooklyn All-Star linebacker at 180 pounds. Look for his novel-in-progress, PK, about growing up in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Queens, NY, in the wake of Chernobyl, Reaganomics, and Tears for Fears, as the son of an Orthodox priest.



The Mitchell Award for distinguished achievement and contributions during residency for the MFA degree in the Graduate Creative Writing Program:

The Mitchell award is designed to honor one MFA second year student for their special contributions to the Creative Writing Program.  It recognizes the student who has been the most involved citizen in the program and one of its best writers.

2020 Winner: Scarlett Wardrop

SCARLETT ELIZA WARDROP is a poet and programmer (sometimes both at once) from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is interested in the intersection between science and poetry, traditional and experimental forms, and multimedia work. Her thesis THE CREEK GENERATOR consists of poems that spin together dark foliage, technology, lineage, and ritual, along with a computer program that generates poetry. Her words can be found now, or in the future, in journals such as DELUGE, Dream Pop Press, Diagram, and Kenyon Review.

Samuel and Mary Anne Hazo Poetry Award

Recipient's work reflects Hazo's humanistic aesthetic/ideals and commitment to poetic craft. Selected by unanimous decision from current poetry faculty and based upon thesis, student's class performance, and contribution to the creative writing community and the MFA program.

2020 Winner: Sebastian Bostwick

s.c.bostwick is a queer poet who's lived most of their life on Coast Salish Territory in what is now known as Washington State. Their work can be found in Homology Lit, Dream Pop Journal, and DELUGE. They are currently working on an autofiction lyric that explores the intersections of heritage, gender, "home", and, of course, a mother’s love.