The 2022 Dell Magazines Awards
by Sheila Williams
Dell Award Winners: Rona Wang (2020), Jack Hawkins (2022), Jazmin Collins (2021)
Photo credit: Bill Clemente
After two years of Zoom ceremonies, It was a delight and a relief that the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing could once again be presented in sunny Orlando, Florida, at the annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). The award, which is co-sponsored by Dell Magazines and the International Association for Fantastic in the Arts, and supported by Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, was bestowed on March 19, 2022. The winner received a plaque and five hundred dollars.
Rick Wilber and I determine the finalists for the Dell Award via a blind read. We were also delighted when we discovered that one of last year’s finalists, Jack Hawkins, had won the 2022 award with his story of “The Hellish Takeout.” Jack is a senior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, who is graduating with a duel major in English and psychology. His satiric tale about job hunting, careers, and cannibalism was hilarious, sad, and very well constructed.
Our first runner-up, Juliette Morazain, wrote her bittersweet story about goblins who “Walk On” in the spring of 2021 while she was a senior at the Université de Montréal. Juliette is currently pursuing a creative writing master’s degree at the University of Glasgow so she traveled to Florida from Scotland.
Our second runner-up, Getty Hesse, recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma where he majored in history and English. At fifteen, Getty attended the Alpha Writers Workshop. He’s considering pursuing a Ph. D. in Chinese history. His horror story about “Teatro Anatomico,” was suffused with historical knowledge.
Left to right: Juliette Morazain, Bree (Taylor) Meiklejohn, Jake Mouallem, Jazmin Collins, Getty Hesse, Rick Wilber, Jack Hawkins
Photo credit: Liza Groen Trombi
This year’s third runner-up, Jazmin Collins, a senior at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, was last year’s winner! She’s working on a double major in English and computer science and a minor in Japanese. Jazmin received her award in person this year for “From a Smirk to a Smile.” You can read her 2021 award-winning story, “My Gardening Journal,” on www.asimovs.com.
Both of this year’s runners up attend the University of Alberta. Bree Meiklejohn, who writes as Bree Taylor, is a fourth-year student majoring in classical studies. Her favorite authors include Madeline Miller and Amal El-Mohtar. She received her award for “Our Own Image.” Jake Mouallem is in his last semester of college studying mechanical engineering. He hopes to pursue a master’s in the same discipline researching hydrogen fuel cells. The author of “Been,” Jake’s favorite authors include Isaac Asimov and Joe Haldeman.
The students were joined by 2021’s first runner-up (and honorable mention) Samuel Owens, which meant that all the 2021 finalists were able to attend the conference in person. Sadly, there was more attrition from the ranks of our 2020 finalists. Still, that year’s winner Rona Wang —now a senior at MIT—and honorable mention C.E. McGill, who also flew in from Scotland, were finally able to attend.
The finalists dined with returning Dell Award finalists Rich Larson, Kay Chronister, and Eleanor Griggs, as well as Joe and Gay Haldeman, Nick Wolven, Alan and Karen Smale, Gregory Norman Bossert, Stephen R. Donaldson, James Patrick Kelly, Suzanne Palmer, Walter Jon Williams, and editor/publisher Jacob Weisman.
The Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing was established by Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts in 1993 to promote the writing of science fiction and fantasy by college undergraduates. The contest is open to all full-time undergraduates at accredited colleges and universities. The award is not limited to unpublished authors, but all submissions must be previously unpublished and unsold, and they should be from 1,000 to 10,000 words long. Writers may submit an unlimited number of stories, but each manuscript must include a cover sheet with the writer’s name, address, phone number, and the university the writer attends. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, with adequate margins, and numbered pages. Names should not appear on the manuscript itself after the cover sheet. Find out more about the award at http://www.dellaward.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dell-Magazines-Award-177319923776/. The deadline for next year’s submissions is Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.
Copyright © 2022 Sheila Williams