“When Hugh Jackman Is The Reason You Break Up With Your Boyfriend” by Julia Wynne

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Congratulations to Julia Wynne who earned an honorable mention in the 15th volume of The Oval for her nonfiction essay “When Hugh Jackman Is The Reason You Break Up With Your Boyfriend.” Julia Wynne is a sophomore studying creative writing and English literature. She is from Bigfork, Montana. She loves to read, write, and listen to Broadway show tunes.

Her first lines:

I found a seat next to him in the back row of the classroom; tall and skinny with short
curly brown hair, a smile that seemed to be suppressing a laugh. I immediately recognized him
from Jillian’s descriptions. As we watched people practicing their speeches at the front of the
room, the last speech and debate practice before holiday break, he nudged my shoulder, pointing
at my phone. Using charades, he motioned for me to unlock my phone, proceeding then to open
the Notes app. He typed something quick, smoothly passing the phone to me under the desk. I
read the one line: You’re Jillian’s sister, right?

Read the full piece here.

“Would-be Corn Cop” by Hattie Smith

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Congratulations to Hattie Smith who earned an honorable mention in the 15th volume of The Oval for her nonfiction essay “Would-be Corn Cop.” Hattie Smith is a senior at the University of Montana, graduating in May of 2022 with a degree in communication. Outside of school and work, she spends her free time reading, writing, and rotting her brain with reality television.

Her first lines:

In my sixteenth year, my parents demanded that I become gainfully employed. I hated
this demand, the only of theirs that I can remember having any real problem with. I explained to
my parents that I was doing well in school and that I did not really need a job in the first place. It
was beneath me to work. Where I developed the attitude of a regency socialite is beyond me, but
I already decided that my time would be better spent luxuriating. So really, the whole “job” thing
was unnecessary.

Read the full piece here.

“the language you left me” by Tannar Crossman

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Congratulations to Tannar Crossman who earned an honorable mention in the 15th volume of The Oval for his poem “the language you left me.” Tannar is a senior at the University of Montana, studying psychology and sociology. He was born and raised in Hamilton, MT, where he still lives today. His parents are Jamie and Robert Crossman, and he has three brothers: Clint, Kyle and Randy Crossman. His interests include comedy, sports, and storytelling. After graduation, Tannar plans on ultimately pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology.

Read the full poem here.

“Saints of the Pit” by Caroline Tuss

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Congratulations to Caroline Tuss who earned an honorable mention in the 15th volume of The Oval for her poem “Saints of the Pit.” Caroline Tuss is a senior studying creative writing, theatre, and nonprofit administration. She is captured by the dark and wet places of the Earth. Her favorite word is spelunk.

Her first lines:

Irish girls are called to the Pit
to sing dirges to the ghosts
of geese, gods, and men.

Read the full poem here.

“Brindle” by Tommy Brock

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Congratulations to Tommy Brock who earned an honorable mention in the 15th volume of The Oval for his poem “Brindle.” Tommy Brock is hopefully in his last semester at the University of Montana desperately trying to get his BFA in creative writing. He lives in Missoula with his dog, enjoys going on long walks, taking naps, and keeping things simple enough he can understand them.

His first lines:

Pointed ears held high
Shivering she takes
A lap around a chair

Read the full poem here.