2020 Elmira College Twain Art and Writing Winners Announced

The Center for Mark Twain Studies has announced the winners of the Annual Portraying Mark Twain Art Contest and the Mark Twain Essay Contest. First place prizes were awarded to Morgan Mordini ’22 and Alex Taylor ’23, respectively. Morgan’s winning piece in the Art Contest was a wintery photograph of the Mark Twain statue on the Elmira College campus, looking directly at Cowles Hall, the building where his wife Livy received a part of her education.

Honorable mentions in the Art Contest were awarded to Max Lundin ’22, Jenna Cowder ’22, Brooke Shollenberger ’23. Each student was awarded a monetary prize ranging from $150-$50 for their artistic and writing skills.

The 2020 Mark Twain Writing Contest winner is freshman art major Alex Taylor’23, who submitted a creative essay inspired by Mark Twain’s The War Prayer. After learning that many of  Mark Twain’s novels and stories were illustrated by artists such as Lester Ralph (Eve’s Diary) and Truman Williams (Adventures of Tom Sawyer), Alex decided to illustrate his own fictional letters from a 21st Century father and husband who was stationed somewhere in Syria. Alex wrote that he intended for the reader to think about soldiers in their own family, just as reading The War Prayer had caused him to think of soldiers who have been important to him in his own life.

The 2021 Portraying Mark Twain Contest and Mark Twain Essay Contest will soon be open for entries. All Elmira College students are encouraged to submit artwork and writing that reflects some aspect of Mark Twain, his writings, or his life in Elmira. More information is available here. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Joseph Lemak ([email protected]).