College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

2004 Distinguished Alumnus: Olympia Vernon


Olympia Vernon

Despite an initial interest in law enforcement, Olympia Vernon followed her instinct
and her heart and became a writer. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Southeastern
in Criminal Justice, she earned a master’s of fine arts degree from Louisiana State
University in 2002. In 2003, her first novel, Eden, was published, and since its debut
both the book and Vernon have stolen the hearts of readers and critics worldwide.


She has been compared to legends such as Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison, and critics
have called her an “immense talent.”


She is a two-time recipient of the Matt Clark Memorial Scholarship, was nominated
for the Robert O. Butler Award in Fiction in 2002, and was selected by the American
Academy of Arts and Letters to receive the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation
Award for Eden.


Her second novel, Logic, is a coming of age tale of young girl in Mississippi. As
was Eden, Logic has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Olympia Vernon was also
a writer-in-residence at Southeastern and taught a course in creative writing. She
was selected as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Arts, Humanities
and Social Sciences.