CHESTERTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — The Sophie Kerr Prize is the largest student literary award in the nation. Every year, one student from Washington College receives the prestigious honor.

Gigi Barnett introduces us to this year’s recipient.

Five Washington College students anxiously waited to hear one of their name after an evening of reciting poetry, non-fiction and essays at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore this week.

Then, the announcement came.

Timothy Marcin was crowned the winner.

The Sophie Kerr Award is worth more than $61,000.

“It’s truly an honor just to be part of this group,” said Marcin.

His nonfiction stories, written in a journalistic style, caught the attention of Washington College judges.

“I’m still shocked that I won,” said Marcin.

The 22-year-old told WJZ he tried not to think of winning the prestigious prize.

“My one friend, Junior, year told me I was going to win it, and if I did. I had to pay him $20 and he made a bet with me. That was, the only plan was the $20 bet,” said Marcin.

The award’s namesake, Sophie Kerr, was born and raised on the Eastern Shore, not far from Washington College.

Kerr became a prolific and well-paid writer and left much of her earnings to the college, which created the prize in her honor.

Marcin says the next step for him is becoming a journalist, going to graduate school at Northwestern University and capturing the attention of readers.

“When you read something that’s really good, you want to go out there and do it yourself,” said Marcin.

The Sophie Kerr Prize has given away nearly $1.5 million since 1968.


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