Anne Arundel Community College students Chris and Tom Ryan of Bowie, who are twins, were showered with accolades and literary awards at a recent open microphone coffeehouse and release party for “Amaranth,” the AACC student journal for the creative arts.
Chris Ryan won the $250 Marjorie Flack Creative Writing Award for his short story, “Mystery Peanut Butter,” which appears in current edition of “Amaranth” released in April. Flack was an award-winning childrens’ author of books such as “The Story About Ping” and “The Boats on the River.”
To celebrate AACC students’ talent and help aspiring writers, Flack’s grandson Tim Barnum and his wife Darlene sponsor the annual AACC creative writing contest with entries in two categories: best short story or children’s book writing. Submitted entries were judged on campus by AACC faculty.
Tom Ryan also received the $250 Amaranth Editor’s Award for his work on the publication. “Amaranth” editors do not receive stipends or a salary although they work 10 or more hours a week during the academic year to put the journal together.
The brothers began their studies at AACC at age 16. Chris Ryan majored in psychology and Tom Ryan in transfer studies. They are members of Phi Theta Kappa, have participated in an improv group at AACC for several years and recently completed requirements for associate degrees. They plan to transfer to four-year colleges this fall.
“Chris and I are both very proud of ‘Amaranth’ and the work that it contains,” said T.J. Ryan, who was first published in the journal in 2009. Chris Ryan took his first creative writing class at AACC after his brother asked him to help with the journal in fall 2010.