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All throughout my years at SNC, I read Graphos - our literary magazine - with a furvor ever semester it came out. Eventually, with the persuasion of my first english teacher, Ms. Rawlings, I started to submit my stuff. As a freshman and sophomore, two names really stood out in my mind when I thought of Graphos. Al and Liz, to me, seemed to be part of SNC's literary elite. I would read their stuff and just go "wow."

I changed majors my sophomore year, and one semester I went to the english department tea, in which we went around the room and said our favorite books. Everybody was listing classics and when it came to me I listed off some science fiction and fantasy - at that time Orson Scott Card, Connie Willis, and - of course - Steinbeck (someday I'll write about my summer of Stienbeck, in which I read nothing but him). I felt on the edge of this tight little literary circle with my enjoyment of humor and fantasy.

Spring of '01, for the first time, I submitted my poetry and fiction to the lit awards. One day, as I walked to the townhouses, Liz stopped me as she was coming out of the BIG house. "Wait - are you Margaret Bridge? I've been trying to get a hold of you. You got an honerable mention in poetry." I was so shocked that I asked if I could hug her. It's a memory that stays clear in my head. The poem that won was "Peg Out." My professor, Laurie, helped me tighten it up the day before I submitted it. I had a group dinner with John Updike and made a fool out of myself in front of him.

My senior year, Laurie asked me, Adrianne and Matt to be the readers at the halloween English tea. Afterward, the rest of the students mingled in the living room of the alumni house, while Matt, Ed, Nick, and some of our favorite professors hung out in the kitchen and told jokes and laughed alot. Suddenly it hit me - I was part of the "literary elite." I don't know how it happened. I still considered Liz and Al to be much better than myself, same with other students, but Laurie had asked for my work to be read. It was one of those moments when I went "wow - how did this happen?" and then - "am I just fooling myself?"

I won the award for short fiction that year. When Graphos came out, I ended up getting an email from a student who really enjoyed my story and felt really connected to it. It's the only fan email I've ever gotten. Sometimes I wonder if the students who were freshmen and sophomores when I was a senior looked at Me, Matt and Adrianne as part of the SNC literary elite. It seems really silly of me to think that. But also - I hope those freshmen/sophomores, in turn, found themselves in the same position.

PS - I just found out a new prof at SNC got her MFA from New College. Is it fate?
Ah, that was a fun night. Throughout the past 3 years I have yet to find a pair of plastic vampire fangs that stayed put in my mouth quite as well...