The Judging Process
All submissions to The Mountain Laurel are accepted. They go through a screening process that begins with the current Mountain Laurel staff. A minimum of three staff members read each submission and rank it on a scale of 1-3. Submissions with a ranking of 1 definitely proceed to the professional judges. Submissions with a ranking of 3 are those that The Mountain Laurel would NOT consider publishing. Submissions with a ranking of 2 could go either way, and are usually reread by more staff for further consideration.
After being screened by the staff, the best submissions (1's and some 2's) are sent off to their respective judges. Each judge is highly qualified to evaluate either poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or art specifically.
Get to Know the Judges
These were our judges for the 2009-2010 Mountain Laurel. We make certain to find highly qualified and experienced professionals in each category.
Art: Sue Grier, originally from New Mexico, and her husband, Gary, moved from Columbia, SC to the Asheville area in 2004. Sue has been working in clay since 1984 and currently teaches part-time at Clemson University. Her pieces are included in the permanent collections of the City of Columbia, SC and USC Sumter as well as in many private collections. She participates in the ‘Come To Leicester Studio Tour.’ Her exhibition highlights include ACC-SE Spotlight 2007 (Arrowmont, Gatlinburg, TN), Wood Fired Clay NCECA 2008 (Louisville, KY), the International Orton Cone Box Show 2008 & 2006, and The UP State of Clay, Pickens County Museum, Pickens, SC. In 2008, Sue curated “Points of Departure: Vessel Forms from the SC Art Collection” for The ARTS Center in Clemson, SC.
Nonfiction: Katherine R. Cooper, former instructor at NGU, is a Ph.D. student at St. Andrews. After earning a BA in Counseling and an MA in English, she taught English at two universities. She currently lives in Scotland, where she is pursuing a PhD in Early Modern literature. Among her other interests are Lord of the Rings, Pre-Raphaelite art, graphic novels, superheroes in film, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and The Inklings. Katherine has presented at four different academic conferences, participated in a four-week NEH institute, and written on the life of Julian of Norwich and Martin Luther. She recently presented a paper on V for Vendetta and Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the Bird and Baby in Greer and is a regular contributor to Catapult magazine, an online publication which releases biweekly thematic issues on the implications of following Christ in and through all aspects of culture.
Poetry: Richard Mulkey, Associate Professor of English, has taught at Converse College since 1995. Currently Director of the Converse Creative Writing and MFA programs, Rick formerly directed the MFA in Creative Writing at Wichita State University. His poem “Quantum Flux” was honored by The Literary Review, receiving the Charles Angoff Award in 2001. He has published four collections including Toward Any Darkness, Before the Age of Reason, and Bluefield Breakdown. His work is anthologized in American Poetry: the Next Generation, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume I, and A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry; he has individual poems and essays published in Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, The Literary Review, The Connecticut Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, and Verse Daily. Mulkey has been visiting writer at Michigan State, Wichita State, and Radford and has taught writing workshops in the U. S. and Europe.
Fiction: Mike Dellosso found his writer’s voice when he began writing during a family crisis. Following advice from a professional writer, he built a portfolio of writing in church newsletters, e-zines, websites, and start-up magazines; he also entered contests, one of which led to a weekly column in his local newspaper. He researched the process of novel writing while reading novels to serve as models of excellence in the craft, completing his second novel in time for a writing conference in Philadelphia, where a new contact led him to an agent who helped obtain his first publishing contract. He continues to write suspense novels like The Hunted (TheSuspenseZone.com’s Reviewer’s Choice top 10 books, 2008) and Scream ( Best Christian Thriller of 2009 by Deena Peterson (A Peek at My Bookshelf)). His next novel, Darlington Woods, will appear in May, 2010. Mike is an adjunct professor of English at Lancaster Bible College.