New writing fellow coming to CSU's McCullers Center

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comJune 23, 2014 

Courtesy of Columbus State University's Carson McCullers Center Caitlin Hayes

Columbus State University's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians announced Monday the recipient of the 2014 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers.

Caitlin Hayes, a New Hampshire native, is the ninth recipient of the competitive fellowship named for McCullers' parents. From September to December, she will live and work in the McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Ave., which was the celebrated American writer's childhood home in Columbus.

McCullers, who died at age 50 in 1967, is most known for her five novels: "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "Reflections in a Golden Eye," "The Member of the Wedding," "The Ballad of the Sad Café" and "Clock Without Hands."

While in residence at center, Hayes will work on completing her collection of stories, titled "A Pain Like That." She also will give a free public reading Nov. 20 in the Columbus Public Library at a time yet to be announced. Also to be scheduled is a welcoming reception for Hayes this fall at the McCullers Center.

Hayes has been published in the New England Review and The Southern Review. During the past, she was the Olive B. O'Connor Fiction Fellow at Colgate University. She earned a master's of fine arts from Syracuse University, where she was a University Fellow and fiction editor for the Salt Hill Journal. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with bachelor's and master's degrees in English.

A selection committee comprising CSU English Department faculty chooses the Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellow. The fellowship attracted more than 50 applicants this year -- nearly double the amount in the past two years, said Courtney George, the center's director. After reading the applicants' written work, the committee conducted telephone interviews with five finalists, she said.

George explained why the committee ultimately chose Hayes.

“The piece that Caitlin submitted as part of her application was nuanced and very poignant,” she said. “After she expressed great enthusiasm for working and living at the McCullers Center during her phone interview, we knew she was the right candidate for the fellowship. We’re very excited to welcome her this September.”

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow Mark on Twitter

ABOUT THE MCCULLERS CENTER

The mission of Columbus State Unversity's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians is to nurture American writers and musicians, educate youth and foster the literary and musical life of Columbus, the State of Georgia and the American South. The center presents educational and cultural programs for the community, maintains an archive of materials related to the life and work of McCullers, and provides fellowships for emerging writers. For more information, call 706-565-4021 or click on this story at www.ledger-enquirer.com.

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