MLS student Randy Noles wins Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings writing award

Randy Noles, a Rollins Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) student, has won the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings University and Graduate Student Writing Award. The award carries a $1,000 prize and publication in The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Journal of Florida Literature, the society’s scholarly publication.

Noles, who is also publisher of Winter Park Magazine, won the 2018 award for a paper he wrote for environmental studies professor Leslie Poole’s course, The Three Marjories. The course explores the impact of three giants of Florida environmentalism: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Cross Creek), scientist and activist Marjorie Harris Carr, and journalist and activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas (River of Grass).

Noles’ paper, “Pride and Privacy: Cason V. Baskin and Cross Creek’s Loss of Innocence,” examines the colorful libel trial that resulted when one of the real-life characters whom Rawlings described in her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic Cross Creek sued the author for invasion of privacy.

“As a journalist who writes about people, the trial was fascinating to me,” says Noles. “The conflict between writing creative nonfiction and the right to privacy for the people you write about is something that’s never really been resolved.”

Noles will present his paper and receive the award at the conference’s annual meeting, held in April in Mount Dora.