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2011 Honorees

Margaret mcmullan, national winner

A recipient of a 2010 NEA Fellowship in literature and a 2010 Fulbright at the University of Pécs in Pécs, Hungary, Margaret McMullan is the author of nine award-winning books, including her memoir, Where The Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Loss, Exile, and Return. Her books When I Crossed No-Bob and How I Found the Strong both won the Mississippi Arts and Letters Award for Best Fiction (in 2004 and 2008), the Indiana Best Young Adult Book (in 2005 and 2008), and they are both New York Public Library A-List Books for Teens. Margaret has taught on the summer faculty at the Stony Brook Southampton Writers Conference in Southampton, New York, at the Eastern Kentucky University Low-Residency MFA Program, at the University of Southern Indiana’s Summer and Winter Ropewalk Writers Retreat, and at Word Theatre’s Writing Retreat in Edale, England. She was the Melvin Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Evansville, where she taught for 25 years. She now writes full time in Pass Christian, Mississippi. More information available at

Helen frost, regional winner

Helen Frost was born in Brookings, South Dakota. She lived in many places prior to moving to Fort Wayne 20 years ago, where her first Indiana home was a Woodbridge Apartment, owned by Eugene and Marilyn Glick. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in English. She received her Master’s degree in English from Indiana University and has taught writing at all levels. In 2009-2010 she received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry and has received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Frost has written books for readers of all ages. Her books Diamond Willow and Crossing Stones were each selected as Best Books of Indiana. Her first collection of poetry, Skin of a Fish, Bones of a Bird, won the Women Poets Series Competition in 1993 and was published by Ampersand Press. Her second poetry collection, as if a dry wind, was published by Pecan Grove Press in 2009. She has received the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award and the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Frost is also active in the larger arts community. Her website is

micah ling, Emerging Winner

Micah Ling is a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. After graduating, she moved to Bloomington where she earned her master’s degree in 20th century American literature and holds a Master of Fine Arts in poetry at Indiana University. Ling has taught in the English departments at Indiana University, Butler University, DePauw University and Franklin College. Ling has three full-length poetry collections: Three Islands, Sweetgrass and Settlement. In addition to poetry, Ling has bylines in NUVO and Indianapolis Monthly. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

aaron michaels morales, Emerging Finalist

Morales’ first novel, Drowning Tucson (2010)—cited by Esquire as “the bleakly human debut of the new Bukowski”—was named a “Top Five Fiction Debut” by Poets & Writers. His other books include a chapbook of short fiction, titled, From Here You Can Almost See the End of the Desert (2008), and a textbook, The American Mashup (2011). He has edited fiction for Grasslands Review and reviewed books for Latino Poetry Review and Multicultural Review. He taught as an Associate Professor of English at Indiana State University, and now lives and writes in Chicago.

bich minh nguyen, Emerging finalist

Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1974. When she was 8 months old, her family fled the fall of Saigon, eventually settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She received a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan, and moved to Indiana to teach creative writing at Purdue University. She currently directs the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Nguyen’s novel Short Girls (Viking Penguin) was named an American Book Award winner in fiction and a Best Book of the Year by Library Journal. Her memoir-in-essays, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, (Viking Penguin) received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center and was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of 2007, a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book and an Asian American Literature Award finalist. Nguyen’s work has also appeared in such publications as Gourmet magazine, Dream Me Home Safely, Writers on Growing up in America and Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose. Nguyen and her husband, Shreve, have coedited three anthologies: “30/30: Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years” (Penguin Academic); “Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye” (Longman); and “The Contemporary American Short Story” (Longman). More information available at