PSU English Department instructors, alumni, and students nominated for Oregon Book Awards
Author: Madeleine Hillrigel, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Posted: January 30, 2015

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is proud to have instructors, alumni, and students from its English Department represented among the finalists of the Literary Arts' 28th Annual Oregon Book Awards. The winners will be announced on April 13, 2015 at the 28th Annual Oregon Book Awards Ceremony.

Children’s Literature

Susan Hill-Long is nominated in the Children’s Literature category for her book, Whistle in the Dark, a coming of age story about a young boy in the 1920s whose family obligations cause him to drop out of school and join his father in the lead mines. Hill-Long taught Young Adult Publishing for PSU’s graduate publishing program in the spring of 2014 and is looking forward to teaching Children’s Book Publishing this coming spring. “I've written a variety of books for children and also worked as a children's book editor, and so I have a range of experience to draw on and share in the classroom.”

Also nominated in the Children’s Literature category is PSU senior auditor H. Joseph Hopkins for his book, The Tree Lady, which focuses on the life of Kate Session, a woman whose determination and love of science led to the horticultural improvement of the San Diego landscape. “I never thought of myself as a writer,” says Hopkins. “I was really inspired by her refusal to accept authoritarian and gender-based rules.” Hopkins has been auditing classes at PSU since 2010 as part of the Senior Adult Learning Center (SALC) program, which promotes lifelong learning by enabling students over 65 to audit classes tuition free.


PSU instructor Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg are nominated in the Oregon Book Awards Poetry category. Frey, who’s nominated for her book of poetry, Sorrow Arrow, taught a poetry workshop for the MFA in Creative Writing program in Winter 2014: “My experience as a writer contributes to my teaching in all ways, but I think it helps me most to: be precise, think expansively, and stay open to many ways knowing or receiving knowledge. These, it seems to me, are the goals of both writing and teaching.”

Zachary Schomburg is nominated for his book of poetry, The Book of Joshua. Schomburg taught an advanced poetry workshop at PSU in 2014 and has been nominated for an Oregon Book Award twice before--winning for his poetry book Fjords Vol. 1 in 2013. “I really value these awards, and the attention that they give local authors to the larger local community,” said Schomburg.

Young Adult Literature

Nominated in the Young Adult Literature category is alumna Christina Struyk-Bonn MA Ed ‘96, MFA ’11 for her book, Whisper, which originated as her MFA thesis and transformed into her debut novel.

Women Writers Fellowship

Colleen Burner MFA ’14 received the Women Writers Fellowship to support her ongoing work in fiction.