LUMBERTON — Lumberton High School graduate Aleah Tilson recently was named the first recipient of the Jill McCorkle Award for Excellence in Writing.
Grey Sweeney, Lumberton High’s Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition teacher, presented the inaugural award along with a scholarship to Tilson. In the future, McCorkle hopes to present the award to students herself.
Tilson will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and plans to major in English, just as McCorkle did.
Lumberton native McCorkle established the award in order to recognize students who enjoy the craft of writing and have excelled in it academically. Having a deep passion for writing creatively is one prerequisite for receiving the award.
McCorkle graduated from Lumberton Senior High School in 1976 and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s at Hollins University.
She began her professional life by teaching creative writing at multiple universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Harvard University, Tufts University, and Duke University. She is currently a professor at North Carolina State University.
McCorkle has published several novels, some of which have been selected for The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year list.