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Winona Prize winners Kaysey Price (left), Leah Perri (middle) and Ana Alexander (right).

Winona State University’s inaugural Winona Prize in Creative Writing announced the winners of the 2016 writing contest: Ana Alexander for the essay, “Stuck in the Clouds,” selected by Kent Cowgill, Leah Perri for the short story, “Date Night,” selected by Patrick Hicks, and Kaysey Price for her poetry submission, “If All We Get Are Doppelgangers,” selected by Betsy Wheeler.

Alexander is an English writing student originally from Winsted, Minn. She is an advertising representative and features editor for The Winonan, the prose editor for Satori, and a member of Sigma Tau Delta. At the 7 years old she wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling in crayon, giving her suggestions for future Harry Potter novels. Alexander has an affinity for puns, an obsession with the roaring twenties, and a love for coffee.

Perri is a senior English writing student at WSU from Kenosha, Wis. She is the education reporter for the Winona Daily News and has over 200 clips, ranging from explanatory pieces on K-12 education to larger projects. Perri has written for Project FINE’s “Hearing the Voices,” which profiled the stories of 15 Winona County refugees and immigrants. She also mentors high school kids in a poetry group, Teen Voices. After graduation, Perri plans to travel and work on organic farms in Europe for a year before pursuing a communications career at a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainability.

Price is an English literature and writing major from Detroit Lakes, Minn. Her first poem was a four-line, second grade composition about her non-existent pet dog. She is a feature reporter for The Winonan, a mentor for Teen Voices, a poetry editor for Satori and a member of Sigma Tau Delta. Her interests include quoting Gilmore Girls, making puns, exploring what goes unsaid, and deconstructing beliefs that are taken for granted.

The contest was judged by three published authors. Cowgill is an Emeritus Professor from WSU, who has published books of fiction and nonfiction. Hicks is the author of 10 books, including the critically and popularly acclaimed “The Commandant of Lubizec,” and he is the Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University and is a faculty member in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. Wheeler is a prize-winning poet and the author of “Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Oness at EOness@winona.edu.

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Samantha Stetzer

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