Dalton State Professor Is Faulkner Literary Competition Winner

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Dr. Nancy Mason
Dr. Nancy Mason

Dr. Nancy Mason, assistant professor of Spanish at Dalton State College, has been named a winner in two categories of the William Faulkner Literary Competition. She received first place honors in the One-Act Play category for her work “Meeting at Midnight” and second place in the Adult Short Story division for “After Nighthawks.”

The William Faulkner Literary Competition, created in 1997 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth, is a part of the Tallahatchie RiverFest, an annual event that takes place in Faulkner’s hometown of New Albany, Miss. Dedicated to celebrating the rich literary history of New Albany, the RiverFest, a two-day festival, begins with a luncheon to announce the winners of the William Faulkner Literary Awards.  

For Dr. Mason, winning the awards was doubly thrilling, as she has roots near New Albany. “I was excited to go back to Mississippi to receive the awards,” says Dr. Mason. “New Albany is the birthplace of William Faulkner, and I graduated from high school in Pontotoc, which is nearby.”

Dr. Mason is the author of “Muscadine Wine,” a three-act Southern drama which had its premiere last fall at Dalton State. “Not only does Dr. Mason write, publish, and present short stories and plays, but she also encourages students in her Spanish classes to write as well,” says Dr. Mary Nielsen, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Dalton State. “Our school is proud of Dr. Mason and her accomplishments.”

“Meeting at Midnight,” Dr. Mason’s winning work, is a prequel to “Muscadine Wine.” The one-act play introduces the story of the Dowis and Montgomery families, details how their feuding came to be, and follows the love triangles surrounding the two families. This time, however, in a plot twist, the characters get involved with Colombian drug dealers.  

Her short story, “After Nighthawks,” was inspired by the famous painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. “It’s the story of a lonely and troubled Vietnam veteran who seeks companionship at the Aragon Ballroom, a famous dance hall in Chicago,” says Dr. Mason. “It focuses on the changing times from the music and customs of the 1940s and '50s to the chaotic era and social changes that took place in the '60s.”

The literary competition receives entries from all over the world, and more than $4,000 is given away each year in prizes. Dr. Mason received a cash prize of $600 for her play and $300 for her short story. “This was the first time I've been paid for any of my fiction, and I hope it won't be my last,” she quips. 

In addition to her prizes, Dr. Mason received acclaim and support from the attendants of the RiverFest, as well. “About 170 people came out for the awards luncheon,” she says. “It was inspiring to have so much support for all the writers, and it's an incentive to do more. It's very humbling to have the characters reach out and touch the emotions of the readers.”


CSCC Hosts Make A Difference Now Volunteer Expo

The Department of Service-Learning at Cleveland State Community College and GRAAB Coalition (Going Respectively Against Addictive Behaviors) will be co-sponsoring a Volunteer Expo on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium on Cleveland State’s campus. “This is a terrific opportunity for our students to volunteer to apply what they are learning ... (click for more)

Bachman Academy Opens Fall Semester With Upgrades

The Bachman Academy staff has welcomed the return of its middle and high school students who have been diagnosed with learning differences, to the campus. Teeming from nine different states and three international destinations, the students arrived with their friends and families excited to identify their new dorm rooms, reminiscent of 15 years ago when Bachman Academy first began ... (click for more)

General Motors To Invest $185 Million In Engine Plant, Build New Cadillac SRX In Spring Hill

General Motors will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex, officials said Wednesday.  GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-size vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill. “We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee,” Governor Bill Haslam ... (click for more)

Reception Honors County's 2nd-Longest Serving Employee

General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, at a County Courthouse reception, asked anyone who was working at the courthouse in 1966 to raise their hand. Only Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson was able to do so. Judge Shattuck said he believes only Edna Camp of the Criminal Court clerk's office, has been at the courthouse longer. Ms. Thompson did not seek re-election, ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)