West Virginia State Students Win Top Honors for Graphic Narratives
INSITUTE, W.Va. – A trio of West Virginia State University (WVSU) students swept top honors in the graphic narrative category in the annual writing competition sponsored by West Virginia Writers, Inc.
Scotty White, Frank Larnerd and Katarina Dedicova finished first, second and third respectively in the new category, while Larnerd and Dedicova also picked up additional honorable mention awards in the category. The awards were announced recently at the West Virginia Writers annual conference.
“I am so very proud, even more than if they were my own awards,” said Daniel “Danny” Boyd, Assistant Professor of Communications at WVSU. “It was so cool to be sitting in an awards banquet with many of the best writers in the state, and hearing announced that five awards went to my students.”
White is a Communications major at WVSU, while Larnerd is an English major. Dedicova recently graduated from WVSU with a master’s degree in Media Studies. All of the winning entries were developed either through courses at State, or through mentorship programs through the University.
“I introduced Graphic Narrative writing and creating into our curriculum four years ago,” Boyd said. “I designed the course as ‘Cinema on the Page,’ arguing that coming from screen writing students would be well equipped to transition easily into writing for comics and graphic novels.”
After an award-winning filmmaking career, Boyd has himself transitioned to creating graphic novels in recent years, with “Chillers,” “Chillers: Book Two,” and the forthcoming national release of “Carbon.”
Two of the students, Larnerd and Dedicova, previously contributed stories to Boyd’s “Chillers” graphic novels.
White’s first place entry was titled “Sidekick: a Tragedy,” while Larnerd’s entry was “Elvis Live from the Innsmouth” and Dedicova penned “Watch for Children.” Larnerd earned honorable mention for “Kill-Lebrity” while Dedicova’s honorable mention entry was “Last Swim.”
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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.