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Four city high school students win arts awards from Stone Canoe

March 19, 2012

Eileen Jevis
(315) 443-3527

Four Syracuse City High School students were awarded prizes for their work in the categories of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and visual arts during the recent launch party celebrating the sixth edition of Stone Canoe: A Journal of Arts, Literature, and Social Commentary. Each winner received an award certificate from Stone Canoe and a $500 monetary prize, courtesy of the Gifford Foundation.

Stone Canoe Number 6 features the work of more than 140 artists and writers with ties to Upstate New York, ranging from those with international reputations to those who have not previously published or exhibited their work. The journal’s reach and reputation has increased steadily with each issue, and has elicited kudos from many established writers.

The Gifford Foundation Arts Prize for Poetry was awarded to Jeanie Nguyen, a senior at Nottingham High School, for her poems “Human” and “Vietnam, June 1982.”

The Gifford Foundation Arts Prize for Fiction was awarded to Brianne Wood, a junior at Nottingham High School, for her story “When There’s No Tomorrow.”

Also from Nottingham, freshman Mykolaj Suchý, was awarded the Gifford Foundation Arts Prize for Nonfiction for his essay “Ukraine.”

Corcoran High School senior Jimmy Ellerbe won the Gifford Foundation Arts Prize for Visual Arts, for his drawing “Still Life with African Mask.”

“I am particularly impressed with the Gifford Foundation high school prize winners this year,” says editor Robert Colley. “Jeanie Nguyen skillfully evokes a scene from her native Vietnam in just a few lines of poetry and Mykolaj Suchý demonstrates a sense of narrative control with his extended family in Ukraine.” Colley also says that he is impressed with how Wood’s short story handled a sensitive topic with a skillfully restrained combination of dialogue and interior monologue. “And Jimmy Ellerbe’s charcoal drawings show signs of a maturing artistic talent with a bright future,” he says.

Awards for previous editions of Stone Canoe include the 2007 Bronze Medal from the Independent Publisher's Book Awards; 2007 Certificate of Excellence for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA); 2008 Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher's Book Awards; 2008 Gold Medal from the UCEA National Conference; and the 2009 Silver Medal from the UCEA National Conference.

Submissions for Issue #7 are being accepted until July 15, 2012, for publication in early 2013. For more information or to order the journal, visit, e-mail or call 315-443-4165.

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