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Sophia Stid of Wilmington Wins the 2022 Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship

Sophia Stid

WILMINGTON—Wilmington prose writer Sophia Stid is the recipient of the 2022 Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, which honors North Carolina’s beloved poet, editor, and educator.

Sophia is the Ecotone Postgraduate Fellow at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches creative writing and serves as an associate editor for Ecotone. Originally from California, Sophia graduated from Georgetown University, where she studied poetry and theology, and earned her MFA from Vanderbilt University, winning the Sedberry Prize in Poetry. Her work has been supported by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and the Collegeville Institute. Recent poems appear in Pleiades, Best New Poets 2020, and Poetry Daily, and a prose micro-chapbook, Whistler’s Mother, is out now from Bull City Press. Sophia is currently at work on a collection of linked lyric essays that circle around gender, wilderness, mythologies of the American West and South, exterior and interior spaces, and domestic labor.

“The judges were uniformly impressed by Sophia’s compelling work and her commitment to the craft of writing,” said June Guralnick, Program Coordinator for the Buckner Fellowship.

Sophia was one of three finalists for the 2022 fellowship, along with Hampton Williams Hofer and Sara Graybeal. This year’s judges were Barbara Presnell, Trace Ramsey, and Banu Valladares.

In addition to a $500 stipend, Sophia will receive a full scholarship to attend the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2021 Fall Conference, November 19-21 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham/RTP, as well as scholarships to the Network’s 2022 Spring and Fall Conferences. All three finalists will receive complimentary one-year NCWN memberships.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers the annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator. The Buckner Fellowship supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career. Award recipients are invited to ‘pay it forward’ in the spirit of Sally Buckner’s generosity and support of Tar Heel authors. Sophia’s goal is to host place-based writing workshops, as well as to mentor younger writers.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program accepts applications from writers working primarily in one of three specified genres, rotated over a three-year cycle. The 2023 genre will be announced at a later date; submissions open for the 2023 Buckner Fellowship on May 1 and run through June 30.

A native of Statesville, Sally Buckner taught every level from kindergarten through graduate school, including twenty-eight years as a faculty member at Peace College, inspiring thousands of young people to find their own unique writing voices. Buckner’s published nonfiction, fiction, and poetry can be found in numerous journals, and in 1986 her collection of poetry, Strawberry Harvest, was published by St. Andrews Press. Other poetry collections include Collateral Damage (2008), and Nineteen Visions of Christmas (2011). Buckner edited two well-known anthologies of North Carolina literature: Our Words, Our Ways: Reading and Writing in North Carolina (1991) and Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry (1999).

The North Carolina Writers’ Network connects, promotes, and serves writers of this state, providing education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write.