We are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2011 Norton Writer’s Prize: Ryden Anderson of Southern Methodist University for his analytic essay, “Eliot's Sea Change: The Revision of ‘Death by Water.’” The judges noted Ryden’s ability to comprehend and appreciate Ezra Pound’s craftsmanship. They also praised his “superb analysis” and powerful argument.
This year, standing out among the large pool of well-written entries were two runners-up: Grace Welte for her literary narrative essay, “Bracken County, Northern Kentucky,” and Carrie Barker for her personal narrative essay, “Chasing Butterflies.”
“Eliot's Sea Change: The Revision of ‘Death by Water’”
Southern Methodist University
Ryden knew he was going to be an English major probably before he knew what one actually was: he remembers being unable to keep his hand out of the air during his fifth grade class’s discussion of their first novel, Call of the Wild—and he hadn’t even liked the book. In high school, he discovered his true love for writing and studying poetry, and that passion continued to guide his studies throughout college. The son of two (very supportive) lawyers, Ryden is currently pursuing a career in that profession, where he enjoys the opportunity to use—and improve—his writing skills in new contexts. He received his B.A. from SMU in 2011.
“Bracken County, Northern Kentucky”
University of Notre Dame
Grace grew up on a small tobacco farm in Augusta, Kentucky, an experience that inspired her to write this essay for her first-year composition course. She will be a junior in the fall at University of Notre Dame where she plans to major in Information Technology Management and will be spending a semester studying abroad in Fremantle, Australia.
Kirkwood Community College
Carrie is completing her final semester at Kirkwood Community College and plans on attending the University of Iowa in the fall. She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband and four children. This is Carrie’s second writing award; she was named Winner of the Norton Writer’s Prize in 2010.