Americus resident and GSW student wins Albany Art Museum writing competition

Published 4:07 pm Monday, January 18, 2016

AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) student, Leigh Crumbley, placed first in the Albany Museum of Art’s (AMA) inaugural “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” writing contest, sponsored by AMA life trustees Steve and Bronwyn Hinton. The winners were announced at a reception and reading on Nov.19.
The contest began on Sept. 25, 2015 with students selecting from a list of six pieces permanently housed at the museum. Students wrote 1,000-word essays inspired by the piece of their choosing. Students also had to visit the museum and observe their piece in person in order to be admitted into the competition.
Leigh Crumbley, a freshman from Americus, won the contest with her piece entitled “Paint My Soul” inspired by the oil painting “Dangerous Shore” by James Hamilton.
Crumbley was ecstatic but surprised to learn she won the contest.
“I thought that everyone there must be much more experienced than me, so I felt like I really didn’t stand a chance against them. However, it felt really great to win because I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, and lately I’ve been feeling like I’m not really good enough to be one,” explained Crumbley. “Winning made me feel like my writing is actually worth something, and it encouraged me to keep working hard.”
Crumbley is also a student in the “Move On When Ready” program for students that are dual enrolled in high school and a postsecondary institution in Georgia.
Macon Brown, a sophomore from Stevenson, Ala., placed second with his piece entitled “The Banquet.”
Both Crumbley and Brown are students in Composition II, taught by Elizabeth Kuipers, Ph.D., professor of English at GSW.
“The writing contest, sponsored by the Albany Museum of Art, was an option for all of my ENGL 1102 students for one of their essays. The competition provided the students with an outlet for really creative expression. Some of the best writing that my students did this term was in response to the art they saw,” said Kuipers. “One of the most exciting parts of the process from my point of view was seeing the vastly different stories and ideas that resulted from students writing about the exact same piece of art. Those differences inspired me to think about perspective in all areas of the arts. I was particularly proud of GSW’s two contest winners: Leigh Crumbley and Macon Brown.”
Crumbley was among 52 students from six area colleges to submit essays for the competition. The contest was open to students from Georgia Southwestern, Darton State College, Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Valdosta State University and Andrew College.
Winners were chosen by a panel of judges that reviewed each anonymous submission. Cash prizes were given to each of the top three winners. First place received $250, second place received $150 and third place was given $100.
The seven best essays, which included the three winners and four honorable mentions, were published in a special collection available at the AMA.
For more information about the contest or to read the winning pieces, visit