Congratulations to RC students and RC Creative Writing and Literature majors for your Hopwood Awards. Kudos for achieving this prestigious honor, and for joining a very elite group of former winners whose work indelibly impacts our world. Twelve RC students were recognized with seventeen awards, and are listed below. We congratulate the following winners on their amazing accomplishments. 

Sebastien Butler, Creative Writing major, Undergraduate Poetry prize and the Paul and Sonia Handleman Award for “Tornado Waltz”

Phoebe Danaher, RC student, Screenplay prize and the Naomi Saferstein Literary Award for "The Millertown Vessel"

Avery Fessenden, RC student, Marjorie Rapaport Award in Poetry, for “The First Sign” 

Ellie Katz, RC student, Undergraduate Nonfiction prize for "Total Eclipse of the American West", "Grapefruit", "Blood on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement", and "Dreams of Dalí" 

Kennedi Killips, Creative Writing major, Undergraduate Poetry prize and the Keith Taylor Award for Excellence in Poetry for “in this one, I lose everything” 

Annie Ning, Creative Writing Major, Undergraduate Nonfiction prize for “Visiting Yingxiu”

Arjun Thakkar, RC student and Creative Writing major, Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship for “In Good Health: An Unmasked Tribute to Millions”

Nicole Tooley, RC student, First- and Second-Year Poetry prize and the Roy and Helen Meador Award for “U-Turns” 

Jena Vallina, RC student and Creative Writing major, Peter Phillip Pratt Award in Fiction for “Tree Hugger”, and the Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship for “Selah” 

Alexander Wagner, RC student, Screenplay prize for “Inquisitor”

Darby Williams, RC student, First- and Second-Year Nonfiction prize for “The Stone Women of Salt Lake”, “Fossils”, and “Basil-Eyed Boy”

Jingqi Zhu, RC student, First- and Second-Year Nonfiction prize for “And the Stories Echo” and “Meadow”

Congratulations, too, to the faculty who have worked with these students on their creative work!


The Hopwood Program administers the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Awards in writing as well as many other contests and prizes. The program was endowed by Avery Hopwood, a popular American dramatist and member of the Michigan Class of 1905. Mr. Hopwood bequeathed one-fifth of his considerable estate to the University of Michigan with the stipulation that it be used to encourage "the new, the unusual, and the radical" in creative writing among students. During the years that have passed since the first Hopwood Awards were made in 1931, we have been able to award a cumulative total of almost $6,000,000 to more than 3,300 gifted writers. Former winners include Arthur Miller, Robert Hayden, John Ciardi, Frank O’Hara, Marge Piercy, Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, Merrill Gilfillan, Lawrence Kasdan, Jane Kenyon, Mary Gaitskill, John U. Bacon, Susan Jane Gilman, Gabrielle Civil, Bich Minh Nguyen, Paisley Rekdal, Davey Rothbart, Diane Cook, Elizabeth Kostova, Jesmyn Ward, Celeste Ng, Randa Jarrar, Samiya Bashir, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Brit Bennett, Lillian Li, Danez Smith, and more. More information can be found at the Hopwood website.