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Ellery Wins Creative Nonfiction Award

September 25, 2015

Dr. Chris Ellery, a professor of English in Angelo State University’s Department of English and Modern Languages, has won first prize in the eighth biennial X.J. Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction administered by Rosebud Magazine.

Dr. Chris ElleryDr. Chris ElleryEllery’s memoir, “A Boy of Bethany,” was selected for the $1,000 top prize out of more than 300 submissions to the national contest, which was judged by Rosebud editor Roderick Clark and Cambridge Book Review Press editor Robert Wake.

In his written comments, Wake called the essay “a deeply moving work of poetic reportage from the divided city of Jerusalem.” He also wrote, “Ellery’s probing interactions with those whom he meets – a tourist site caretaker and his son; a Jewish convert from the U.K.; Franciscans walking the Stations of the Cross; a hostile gang of adolescent Palestinian boys – bring ‘A Boy of Bethany’ to vivid life.”

Ellery’s essay and the works of the four runners-up will be published in the December issue of Rosebud.

In 2014, Ellery won first prize in the second annual Alexander and Dora Raynes Poetry Competition for his poem, “Shekinah.” He is the author of three collections of poems, including “The Big Mosque of Mercy” in 2010, which was based on his experiences in the Middle East, where he was a Fulbright professor at the University of Aleppo in Syria. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he holds a doctorate from Texas A&M University. He teaches poetry writing and film criticism at ASU.

The X.J. Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction was launched 16 years ago to honor the prolific American poet, essayist and editor, who also served as the judge of the first competition. A nonprofit literary magazine, Rosebud was founded 20 years ago to provide a national venue for new and under-appreciated writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. 

For more information on Rosebud Magazine or to order the December issue, go online to


English and Modern Languages Department