Hamilton Prize Winner Audrey Pratt  

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to call Audrey Pratt, a senior at Needham High School in Massachusetts, to tell her that she is the winner of the 2017 Hamilton Prize for Creativity. Audrey submitted a short story, and her work was selected through a process that included faculty rankings and final selection by an all-star committee of creative Wesleyan alumni.

Audrey’s “Thorns, Black and White,” is a spooky, unsettling tale. One of the judges called her “a startling and inventive writer.” Another said she “demonstrates sharp narrative instinct…generic suppleness…and raw writing talent/love of words.”

Audrey, who was accepted to Wesleyan early decision, is a top student at her public high school. The committees reading her work didn’t know this, but I can add that she had nearly perfect standardized test scores and is a captain on her school’s speech and debate team.

One member of the alumni jury had this to say about the range of work submitted for the prize: “Very impressed with all of these. What an artistic group of people. I can’t believe that artists this age are so active in so many forms.”

So active in so many forms….. that’s a great description of many Wesleyan students as they develop their creative capacities in a variety of fields, from chemistry and religion, to music and economics. We look forward to welcoming Audrey Pratt as she joins their ranks!!