High school creative writers in Chaffee and Fremont counties are eligible to apply for a new writing scholarship established in memory of the late Kent Haruf, Salida resident and best-selling author of the trilogy of Plainsong, Eventide and Benediction, novels set in the fictional town of Holt on eastern Colorado’s plains.

The Haruf Memorial Scholarship competition is open to high school writers who are unpublished and are either juniors or seniors at the time of application. Writers may apply in one of four areas: short story, novel excerpt/novella, creative nonfiction, and playwriting.

Winning entries, finalists, and their teachers will be honored at an awards banquet in spring of 2016. Winners will receive a cash prize presented by Cathy Haruf, the late author’s wife. Winners, finalists and their teachers will also be enrolled in a daylong creative writing workshop taught by a professional author at the Salida Steamplant Theatre & Conference Center, also in spring of 2016.

Entries for the Kent Haruf Memorial Writing Scholarship will be accepted between October 1 and November 30th, 2015. Visit the award website http://harufscholarship.orgfor information and submission. Applications and writing samples must be submitted through the award website.

Kent Haruf was born in Pueblo, Colorado in 1943, and graduated from Cañon City High School. He earned his BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1965, and his MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at University of Iowa in 1973.

Haruf's first novel, The Tie that Binds, won the Whiting Writers' Award and received a special Hemingway Foundation/PEN citation. Plainsong, published in 1999, because a bestseller and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Eventide, the next book in the Holt series, won the Colorado Book Award in 2005. After Benediction, the third novel in the series, was shortlisted for the international Folio Prize. Haruf also won the Wallace Stegner Award. All three novels were adapted for the stage and premiered at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.

Haruf finished his final novel, Our Souls at Night, also set in the fictional town of Holt, in the summer of 2014, and it was published posthumously in June of 2015.

The Kent Haruf Memorial Writing Scholarship is sponsored by Cathy Haruf, The Book Haven bookstore, and the Salida Council for the Arts.

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