Margaret Harvin Wilson Writing Award

This award was established in memory of Margaret Harvin Wilson, ’34, who was born Nov. 11, 1913, in Chattanooga, Tenn. After her parents divorced, her mother remarried and moved to Grovetown, Ga., in 1923. No one in the family had attended college, but Margaret was determined because “high school was not enough.” Fortunately, her father provided a small trust ($1,250), and Margaret enrolled in Georgia State College for Women, which is now Georgia College, and finished in three years as an English major and French minor. Margaret waited tables in the dining hall in exchange for discounted tuition and lived in a “free dormitory.” When she was a senior, a teacher encouraged her to enter a short story contest in the English department. Winning first prize in 1933 for “Sympathy Speaks” gave her great confidence for her subsequent career as a teacher. Margaret married Leland Wilson in 1938 and enjoyed a wonderful and interesting life with him in academe. Their three daughters, inspired by the importance of education in their parents’ lives, pursued careers in medicine, law and higher education. Her college experience was critical to Margaret’s intellectual growth, development and in stimulating her desire to explore the world beyond her hometown.

This writing award is designed to inspire students to explore new worlds and be grounded but imaginative and creative.

The contest is open to currently enrolled undergraduate Georgia College students majoring in arts, humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, who submit a suite of poems, a short story, or a one act play. Applications and instructions become available in April, and the annual submission deadline is September 30. A cash award of $1,000, a certificate, and public recognition occur prior to the close of the semester.

Recent Awards


Junior and Senior

First Prize: Caroline Duckworth, "Diameter of the Sun" (junior, poetry)
Finalist: Jaycee Billington, "Okefenokee" (senior, poetry)
Finalist: Brittney Schwind, "The Dumping Grounds" (senior, short story)
Finalist: Emma Smith, "A New Dress" (junior, short story)

Freshman and Sophomore

First Prize: Kinsley Moon, "Suffer the Witch" (freshman, short story)
Finalist: Madeline Ender, "Doll House" (sophomore, short story)
Finalist: Jessalyn Johnson, "On Pins and Needles" (sophomore, poetry)
Finalist: Claire Korzekwa, "The Exodos" (sophomore, poetry)

2016 Jessica McQuain, poem, "Southern Baptist" (Press Release)

Jessica McQuain, Lizzie Perrin, President Dorman, Natalie Mau, Boston Chandler

Jessica McQuain (winner), Lizzie Perrin (finalist), President Dorman, Natalie Mau (finalist), Boston Chandler (finalist)

2015 Chelsea Cobb, short story, "In Memoriam" (Press Release)

Dr. Allen Gee and Chelsea Cobb

Dr. Allen Gee and Chelsea Cobb



Contact Information
Department of English
Georgia College & State University
Campus Box 44
Milledgeville, GA 31061