Inaugural scholarship reception honors top Edinboro writers

Category:  News
Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 9:35 AM

“I always believe that something incredible happens when everyone gets together around literature.”

This quote, by assistant professor Dr. Jeffery Bartone, aptly described the scene at the inaugural Chuck Palahniuk Writing Scholarship reception on Oct. 2, where professors, students and family came together to celebrate the writing achievements of a special student.

Gianna Leone, a senior English writing major, was the first recipient of the award.

The purpose of the event was two-fold: “To recognize the first recipient of the scholarship, as well as acknowledge the generosity of Mr. Palahniuk,” said Dr. Mary Paniccia Carden, chairperson of the English and philosophy department. 

Palahniuk, author of such novels as “Fight Club” and “Invisible Monsters,” established the scholarship to recognize particularly motivated and skilled writers, and to help them on their path to becoming professional writers.

According to certain criteria, students could submit samples of their work for the consideration of the deciding scholarship committee, and the choice was made based on the applicant’s “dedication, perseverance, and most of all, a love of writing,” according to Bartone. He added, “That’s what we see in her work, and that’s what the jurors recognized when they gave her this prestigious award.”

As part of the reception, Leone read aloud the collection of essays she submitted for the scholarship. Her first essay, titled “Broken Cone,” described the thoughts in her head as she enjoyed an ice cream cone at Edinboro’s own Dairy Supreme. 

The second essay, titled “Fireworks,” shares the dynamics of a family and one’s own self.

Her final essay, “Vineyard,” relates the story of an interesting night she had at a wedding held at a beautiful vineyard. 

After the reception, Leone remained in disbelief: “I can’t believe it,” she said of being the first to receive the award, and overall she was humbled by the experience: “It’s a huge honor.” 

The same can be said for the professors who helped her along the way.

“I’m proud that I had a part… in giving my love of writing to her and tell[ing] her to keep it, keep it with her, her whole life,” said Bartone. 

Nathan Brennan can be reached at

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