Sophie Kerr

Sophie Kerr

About Sophie Kerr

Sophie Kerr (August 23, 1880 in Denton, Maryland – February 6, 1965 in New York City, New York) was an American poet and writer, author of 23 novels and many poems and short stories. She was best known for Big Hearted Herbert (1934), People Will Talk (1935) and Fickle Women (1920). Kerr grew up in Caroline County, Maryland, and lived most of her life in New York. She was educated at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and the University of Vermont. She started writing at age 18 and worked at a newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a few years, then moved to New York where she was editor-in-chief of the Woman's Home Companion. Kerr has contributed short stories to almost every magazine in the United States of America. Sophie Kerr's home is still in her hometown of Denton, Maryland.
In her will, she left half a million dollars to Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, to fund a promising writer graduating each year. The investment of that money over 40 years has allowed the Sophie Kerr Prize to grow to close to $70,000 and become the country's biggest literary graduate prize, and certainly one of the biggest in the world, surpassing the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle; this allowed the college to bring in great writers from across the nation.

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