May 20, 2017
A passing conversation with a chemistry teacher at Manchester Valley High School set Catalina Righter on a path that led Friday to her winning one of writing's most lucrative prizes.
The 22-year-old Righter, who grew up in northeastern Carroll County, was awarded Washington College's Sophie Kerr Prize — and the $65,768 in winnings that go with it to foster a future in literature. The Manchester woman thanked her high school teacher, a graduate of the Eastern Shore college, for encouraging her to consider attending the college to develop her writing and compete for the prize.
"I was absolutely shocked, which I am sure you could see on my face," Righter, a senior, said Friday, minutes after being named the winner.
Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the award, the nation's largest undergraduate writing prize.