2018 Irene Adler Prize Awarded to Lynnette Curtis: M.F.A. Candidate Wins $1,000 Prize for Women Writers

Lynnette Curtis has won the 2018 Irene Adler Prize for her essay, “Letters to Las Vegas.” Curtis, who will receive $1,000 toward her education, is pursuing her M.F.A. in creative writing at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.

The annual Irene Adler Prize offers a $1,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition.

“Lynnette powerfully captures the impact of the recent Las Vegas mass shooting on her literary aspirations,” said prize founder Lucas Aykroyd. “Her essay provides a compelling blueprint for other journalists seeking a meaningful catharsis in the wake of tragedy. Her tight, emotionally evocative writing stood out amid a strong, diverse field of entries.”

Honorable mentions went to Maddie Kim (“A Land of My Own”), who is seeking her B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Stanford University, and Helene Eisman Fisher (“Harriet”), who is pursuing her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction at the City College of New York.

Aykroyd is an award-winning Vancouver writer and public speaker whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and National Geographic. He has covered women’s hockey at five Olympics and emceed the inaugural women’s hockey summit at the International Ice Hockey Federation Congress in Copenhagen in May. Aykroyd holds an M.A. in English literature from the University of Victoria, which gave him the Distinguished Alumni Award.

“In today’s challenging climate, I want to let my female colleagues know – past, present, and future – that they and their work are respected and valued,” Aykroyd said. “This is not to minimize men. It’s to help maximize the talents of the other 50 percent of the world’s population, which is too frequently shortchanged. The time is right.”

In 2017, Kiley Bense won the inaugural Irene Adler Prize. She is pursuing her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York.

The Irene Adler Prize is named after the heroine of the 1891 Sherlock Holmes detective story “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

For more on the Irene Adler Prize and the winning essay, see:


The 2019 Irene Adler Prize submission guidelines will be released in January.

Lucas Aykroyd
Web Site: lucasaykroyd.com
Email: lucas@lucasaykroyd.com

Source: Lucas Aykroyd


Categories: Women's Issues, Writing

Tags: female journalists, female writers, Irene Adler Prize, Lucas Aykroyd, scholarships for women, women writers

About Lucas Aykroyd

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Lucas Aykroyd is an award-winning writer, national newspaper columnist, and public speaker based in Vancouver.