2017 Conference Contest Judges


Sarah Pringle received her MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University in May 2014. Sarah is the coordinator of the Teen Writers Program at the Muse Writers Center, where she also teaches poetry and multi-genre workshops for adults. In addition, Sarah teaches undergraduate English at ODU and was awarded a Shining Star Teaching Award in January 2016.

Sarah is a poetry editor for Green Briar Review as well as Four Ties Lit Review, and serves as a judge for poetry slams and writing contests. Sarah is a Golden Key International Honor scholar. In graduate school she was vice president of Sigma Tau Delta Nu Upsilon, an ODU Writing Center tutor, coordinator of the non-profit project Writers in Community, and a Barely South Review poetry editor.

Sarah holds a TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Certificate, and prior to graduate school taught high school English and ESL. Sarah is a citizen of the USA and Canada, and her goal in life is to travel as much as possible! Sarah has recently completed her first poetry manuscript and is actively seeking publication.


Mark Budman composed his first story at the age of one, in Russian, but since he could neither write nor even speak at the time, his story was lost to posterity.

Afterward, when he learned how to type and when he got his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering—a crucial skill for a would-be author—his fiction appeared in Five Points, PEN, American Scholar, Huffington Post, World Literature Today, Daily Science Fiction, Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, The London Magazine (UK), McSweeney's, Sonora Review, Another Chicago, Sou’wester, Southeast Review, Mid-American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Short Fiction (UK), and elsewhere.

He is the publisher of the world oldest flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try (https://www.amazon.com/My-Life-First-Try-Novel/dp/158243400X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1487334947&sr=8-1) was published by Counterpoint Press. He co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton.

In engineering, his other field, he has 12 patents to his name and several technical publications, which he collected while working for IBM in the sticks of upstate New York.

He thinks that everyone has something to say, and should say it, as long as it hasn’t been said before.

Mark resides in Boston where he reflects on the coldness of snow.



Emily Howell is a 2017 MFA candidate at Old Dominion University in creative nonfiction. She received her BA in Photography and Teaching Artistry from Columbia College Chicago.

She is the Managing Editor of Barely South Review, the literary journal published out of Old Dominion’s MFA program; she teaches memoir and journaling classes at The Muse Writer’s Center; and runs her own photography business.

In the past she has taught Introduction to Literature and English Composition at Old Dominion University. Currently, she is working on a hybrid manuscript of nonfiction lyrical essays and prose poems entitled "With Light."

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