UMW English Professor Receives Fellowship From Virginia Commission for the Arts

Steve Watkins, professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, is a recipient of a 2011-2012 Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The Virginia Commission of the Arts awards fellowships annually to artists residing in Virginia in recognition of creative excellence and to support their pursuit of artistic excellence. Watkins is one of four Virginia artists honored in the field of fiction. Each artist will receive a fellowship of $5,000.

Watkins is the author of “Down Sand Mountain,” winner of the 2009 Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as “What Comes After,” a young adult novel published in 2011. His young adult novel “Juvie” is scheduled for publication in fall 2013. Watkins also is the author of a short story collection, “My Chaos Theory,” a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize and an honorable mention for the Library of Virginia Fiction Award. His non-fiction book “The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire” won the 1997 Virginia College Stores Book Award, earned an honorable mention for the Gustavus Myers Award and was a finalist for the Southern Regional Council’s Lillian Smith Award for Nonfiction.

Watkins received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Florida State University. He teaches courses in journalism, creative writing and Vietnam War literature at Mary Washington.

Artist Fellowships from the Virginia Commission of the Arts are offered on a rotating basis to Virginia artists in the disciplines of crafts, photography, sculpture, fiction, music composition, choreography, painting, works on paper (prints and drawing), poetry, playwriting and filmmaking. The Virginia Commission for the Arts is the state agency that supports the arts through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The commission distributes grant awards to artists, arts and other not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, educators and local governments and provides technical assistance in arts management.

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News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer 

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.


  1. Michelle Mergner says:

    Woo! Congratulations Prof. Watkins! That’s so awesome and so well deserved.