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For immediate use

May 28, 2002 -- No. 293

Local angles: Winston-Salem, N.C.; East Hampton, N.Y.; Farmington, Conn.

Doyle wins UNC's first Wolfe Scholarship, full, four-year award in creative writing

By ASHLEY ATKINSON
UNC News Services

CHAPEL HILL -- Caitlin Doyle, of East Hampton, N.Y., has been awarded the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillís first Thomas Wolfe Scholarship in creative writing. She will enter UNC in August.

The scholarship, administered by the universityís creative writing program, offers full four-year financial support to one incoming freshman annually beginning this fall. It seeks to reward students with exceptionally focused literary ability and promise; artistic merit is the chief selection criterion.

"The selection committee unanimously recognized Caitlinís gift on the page," said Marianne Gingher, assistant professor of English, creative writing program director and co-director of the scholarship. "Once we met her in person, we were doubly impressed. Caitlinís intellectual curiosity, the flexibility of her mind and her genuine zest for literature were immediately apparent."

Doyle was chosen from among approximately 150 applicants, Gingher said; the selection was based largely on candidates' written work, including poetry, fiction, plays and literary non-fiction.

Doyle has received awards for her writing including first prize for poetry in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search conducted by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts; READ magazineís Ann Arlys Bowler Poetry Prize; first and second place in the Connecticut Poetry Societyís Lynn Decaro Poetry Competition; and gold and silver prizes in the Connecticut Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

"I write because thatís when I am my most vivid self," said Doyle. "I write because it forces me to know my mind inside and out, to connect with what I know I feel. I write because it makes my brain hurt. I write because I honor writers and wish to move others as I have been moved."

The scholarship honors acclaimed author Thomas Wolfe, who graduated from UNC in 1920 and attained international prominence upon publication of his novel "Look Homeward, Angel" in 1929. Frank Borden Hanes Sr. of Winston-Salem, a novelist, poet, retired journalist and 1942 Carolina graduate, contributed $2 million to establish the scholarship. Hanes, who founded UNCís Arts and Sciences Foundation in 1975, has long supported faculty and programs in the literary arts.

Doyle's work has been published in magazines including the Connecticut River Review, Offerings magazine, The Small Pond Magazine of Literature and the Long Island Quarterly. She has produced several short films that were shown in the Long Island Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival and at Columbia University.

Doyle, who attended Miss Porterís School in Farmington, Conn., studied film production at the State University of New York-Purchase in 2000-2001. After working the following year, she decided to renew her academic career in a more literature-focused program.

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(Atkinson is a graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication from Roanoke, Va.)

Contacts: Doyle, 631-324-9424; Marianne Gingher, 919-962-0468, mbging@email.unc.edu