Thomas Dabney Mabry, Jr Creative Writing Award

This year marks the establishment of the Thomas Dabney Mabry, Jr. Creative Writing Award. Throughout the year, writers from across the country submitted their works for consideration. We are privileged to have writer, Bren McClain as our head judge. The winner of the award will be announced at the 19th Clarksville Writers Conference.

Listed below in non-ranking order are the top ten finalists

1. W. Jeffrey Bagley / Overwatch

2. Dale Allison-Lemon / Sgt. Alvin ‘Cat’ York

3. George Mauldin / Once Upon a Claxton Fruit Cake

4. Chrissy Hicks / Overshadow

5. Jim Myers / Mudpuppies

6. Chris Ross / My Fathers Castle

7. Stacey Weiss / Creature

8. Julie Lomax / Southern Blooms and Hidden Thorns: A Kudzu Chronicles

9. Heather Bell Adams / Quarter Rest

10. Carol Webster / Angry Iris

Top Three Winners of the Thomas Mabry Creative Writing Award (Non-ranking order)

1. Dale Allison-Lemon / Sgt. Alvin ‘Cat’ York

2. Chrissy Hicks /  Overshadow

3. Carol Webster / Angry Iris

About Thomas Dabney Mabry, Jr.

Thomas Mabry has gained recognition as a prominent author originating from Montgomery County, Clarksville, Tennessee. His short stories are known for their themes of self-discovery and often include references to individuals from his hometown.

Thomas Dabney Mabry, Jr. was born in Clarksville on July 22, 1903 to Thomas Dabney Mabry and Nellie Barnes Runyon. The family home, located at 816 Franklin Street, was where Thomas, Jr. and his two sisters, Nellie and Iris, grew up. This would later become the background for Thomas’ literary works.

He graduated from Clarksville High School and then went on to earn his degree from Harvard University in 1925. He continued his education at Vanderbilt University, receiving a master’s degree in 1931. After graduating, he was hired as the executive director at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, in 1935. Seven years later, Thomas married Ethel Haven. They had two daughters together, Susan and Elizabeth. During World War II, Thomas served in the Office of War Information before working as an editor at Time magazine from 1952-1953. In 1957, he moved with his family to Allensville, Kentucky where he worked as a farmer until his unexpected passing on September 29, 1968.

We are grateful to Lawson Mabry and family for underwriting this award.