USDs Brian Bedard named South Dakota Author of the Year

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The South Dakota Council of Teachers of English has honored Brian Bedard, professor of English at The University of South Dakota, as its 2008 South Dakota Author of the Year.

Bedard, Ph.D., who is also director of creative writing at The U, has had many essays and stories published during his career. His most recent book, the short story collection entitled “Grieving on the Run,” received the 2006 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for short fiction and was published in 2007. "Grieving on the Run" is currently available at Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls, S.D., and online at www.snakenationpress.org.

"The South Dakota Council of Teachers of English represents the grassroots organization of English education and writers across the state, so it’s most encouraging to be a part of it," stated Bedard, editor of South Dakota Review, a nationally distributed literary magazine published by the English department at The U. "I’m elated to receive this award."

Several factors contribute to a creative writer becoming successful, according to Bedard, but being able to develop a relationship with language – despite changes in the medium over time – is critical. He said experience and consistency have also made him a "more efficient writer."

"I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I think my efficiency has increased," explained Bedard, who worked on a new collection of short stories last fall. "I don’t struggle as much. I trust myself a great deal more than when I first began writing."

For being named South Dakota Author of the Year, Bedard will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 South Dakota Council of Teachers of English Conference in Chamberlain, S.D. He will also host a book signing following the conference banquet at Cedar Shore.

"Brian is a writer who has a significant regional presence," added Emily Haddad, Ph.D., associate professor of English and chairperson of the English department. “We’re very proud and very pleased that he has been recognized for his outstanding work.”

A photo of Bedard is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Brian_Bedard.jpg.