The Norton Writer's Prize 2015 Winners

We are very pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Norton Writer’s Prize: Joy Grace Chen of the University of Evansville, for her personal essay, “Fermentation.” The judges admired this writer’s use of form, tone, attention to sensory language, dialogue, and pacing. One judge observed, “Each vignette adds to the author’s ability to finally see the truth of her parents’ world—and her own truth—for what they are.”  

This year, two runners-up were selected from the pool of outstanding submissions: Christopher Bello for his personal essay, “Bellas Artes,” and Eric Boodman for his profile piece, “Geigenbaumeister.”

You can click on the titles below to read the winning essays.


2015 Winner

Joy Grace Chen

Joy Grace Chen
University of Evansville
Joy Grace Chen is a senior studying creative writing and literature at the University of Evansville, planning on graduating in May 2016. She is poetry editor for the Evansville Review and has published work in several undergraduate journals. She loves Jesus and her family, summer reading lists, plaid shirts, vegan baking, and the occasional chai tea latte, and hopes to continue her studies in graduate school after first teaching English overseas for a year.


2015 Runners-Up

Christopher Bello

Bellas Artes
Christopher Bello
The University of Chicago
Christopher Bello is a senior at the University of Chicago with a major in Sociology and minor in Creative Writing. His third year, Chris was the recipient of the Margaret C. Annan Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and the runner-up of UChicago’s Study Abroad Writing Competition. His essay “Bellas Artes” has also appeared in Sliced Bread Magazine, a student publication at the University of Chicago. At the end of the academic year, Christopher is moving to Paris where he will be working at an international law firm.

Eric Boodman

Eric Boodman
Yale University
Eric Boodman studied at Yale, where he focused on narrative journalism and history of science. He started writing about ornithology for the Montreal Gazette as a high school student, and his work has since appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Boston Globe, and the Atlantic online. His profile "Geigenbaumeister" won the 2015 Norman Mailer College Writing Award for Creative Nonfiction. He now writes about science for STAT and moonlights as a traditional Québécois fiddler.