Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Student Mary Heather Noble Wins $10,000 Sustainability Essay Award


$10,000 Sustainability Essay Prize Awarded

Mary Heather Noble is the winner of the $10,000 first-place prize for Creative Nonfiction’s "The Human Face of Sustainability" essay contest, sponsored by Arizona State University’s Sustainability Solutions Festival.

Mary Heather Noble's prize-winning essay, “Acts of Courage,” uses a series of flashbacks from her youth and early scientific career to recall how cancer from contaminants intersected her life, unflinchingly using devastating statistics to show how carcinogens have so easily entered into daily life.

Noble, whose work focuses on environmental issues and the intersection of the natural world, family and place, resides in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and two daughters and serves on the Board of Directors of The Nature of Words literary organization. She is currently enrolled in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Southern Maine.

Noble will be honored at the Sustainability Solutions Festival in Tempe, AZ, Feb. 17-22. The festival is a program within the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

“The idea of sustainability can mean many things to different people, but it is clear through Mary Heather Noble’s brilliant essay, as well as by each of our other finalists, that there is a deep, human connection to sustainability, regardless of definition,” said Patricia Reiter, director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.

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