Alumna Wins Writing Award for Short Story, ‘Supper’

May 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

Erika McBeth Pertell continues her award-winning ways with her short story “Supper.”

A Reading from “Supper” Erika Pertell will join fellow award-winners for readings on May 17 at the Hub City Bookshop; follow the link for more information: http://www.emrys.org/blog/2017/4/16/emryshub-city-contest-winners-reading-is-wednesday-may-17th-at-600-pm

Pertell, a 2007 graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, was recently awarded the annual Hub City/Emrys Creative Writing Prize for Fiction for “Supper,” which focuses on Teddy, a boy who longs to live the bohemian lifestyle of his family’s neighbors, despite his mother’s strong disapproval.

Pertell, who is also a Montessori-school teacher, described winning the award as a validation of the labor she put into the story.

“I worked really hard on the story and really enjoyed it,” Pertell said. “I enjoyed writing from the point of view of this young person, and [the award] meant to me that somebody also enjoyed it. Ultimately, that’s my goal when I write a story, is that somebody enjoy what I write, and just enjoy a good story. So I’m always writing to please the reader.”

The competition was sponsored by the Hub City Writers Project and the Emrys Foundation.

Pertell has received recognition for other works, including four first- or second-places finishes in other Hub City competitions. She was also one of the top five finalists for the S.C. Arts Association’s 2016 South Carolina First Novel Competition.

Although she has had success with longer works, Pertell said the short story is her favorite writing form.

“It’s because I like quick bursts of story,” she said. “I like to use flashes of detail. … In a short story, you’re really able to get it down to a compact form and pack it full of good details, good dialogue, good characters – I loved doing that.”