UVU Instructor Wins Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Competition
April 25, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert
Written by: Heather Wrigley
Scott Hatch, a lecturer in English at Utah Valley University, was recently named winner of the 2013 Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Competition for his work, “A Boy Scout’s Field Guide to the Red-shifting Universe.”
For the last five years, the UVU College of Humanities & Social Sciences has sponsored the contest. Past winners have included nationally known writers such as Paul Colt. This is the first year in the contest’s history someone from UVU has won.
“I am grateful to Marilyn Brown, UVU and the judges for this generous award,” Hatch said. “Such acknowledgement gives an author just enough encouragement to keep at it.”
Hatch’s novel follows a Boy Scout troop’s picaresque trek through the Uinta Mountains in northeast Utah during August’s Perseids meteor shower. The novel is about living in wild places — about how vital those places are to us, how they teach us to live moral lives and how they heal us. Between them, the boys shoulder the burden of loss beyond their wilderness sanctuary — of their fragmenting families’ prodigal “redshifting” drift away from each other. Their scoutmaster teaches them the star charts and the night sky, and he quotes novelist Marilynne Robinson, “What are all these fragments for, if not to be knit up finally?”
Competition judges praised Hatch’s novel for its lyricism, character development, magnificent descriptions of the High Uintas’ natural setting and well-developed plot.
“Scott Hatch’s extraordinary accomplishment in winning the Marilyn Brown Unpublished Novel Competition demonstrates his own talent and the high quality of UVU’s English faculty,” said Stephen Gibson, chair of the English & Literature department. “We are very proud of him.”
Hatch joined UVU’s Department of English & Literature in 2004. His academic and teaching emphases are technical communication, editing and publishing. He has previously published poems, including his poetry collection, “Mapping the Bones of the World.” “A Boy Scout’s Field Guide to the Red-shifting Universe” is his first novel.
Marilyn Brown created the contest in 2000, when she was president of the Association for Mormon Letters. That organization oversaw the competition until 2009, when UVU took over its administration. The contest is open to all, but entries must have a predominantly western or LDS focus. The award recipient receives $1,000.