The Creative Writing Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will award the 2013 Robert Ruark Prize in Non-Fiction on April 26th, at the UNC Stone Center Auditorium, located west of the Bell Tower. The Robert Ruark Society is offering a $1,000 award-named for novelist-journalist Robert Ruark (UNC Chapel Hill, Journalism Class of 1935) for the best non-fiction work on the natural life and history of North Carolina by a UNC Chapel Hill undergraduaate.
While the deadline for submissions ended March 26, those entering the competition were allowed such subjects as wildlife, (flora and/or fauna) and life in the field (camping, hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, and so on). A travel narrative, personal essay or historical exploration were also among acceptable topics.
Rules limit each student to only one entry with a length up to 5.000 words.
Once the prize is awarded we intend to publish the winning manuscript and information about the author on this website.
Robert Chester Ruark, Jr. (1915-1965) North Carolina Native Son
Below is an email that we recently received that gives a modern day personal touch to the Robert Ruark experience. John W. Edson writes that his father served with Ruark in the Navy and that he met Ruark in the fifties when Ruark visited his father at their home in Beaumont, Texas.
My father served aboard ship with Mr. Ruark during the war and they became fast friends. I recall meeting Mr. Ruark when he came to visit Dad in the fifties at our home in Beaumont, Texas. They stayed up talking and having drinks most of the night and I was privileged to hear much of their conversation. They kept in touch over the years and when I was twenty a group of us travelled to Europe in the summer of 1965.
Dad called Mr. Ruark and told him we’d be on the Costa Brava on a certain date. I called him when we were on our way and he invited us to come visit. He was in London at the time and would meet us at his house. We camped out on the beach and the next day we realized it was the beach in front of his house.
When I knocked on the door a gentleman told us that Mr. Ruark had died the night before. We felt terrible for the people working there who were understandably distressed. They did let us come in for a few minutes, then we left. The house was as I had imagined it – a white hunters home, with animal trophies and skins. Very tasteful and masculine. I even recall a page in the typewriter. I had to call my dad with the news and he was very upset.
I’ve always wanted to tell that to someone beside my father because it had such an impact on me.
John W. Edson
Now welcome to the Robert Ruark Society's home on the Internet. The society is made up of a group of fans from all across Ruark's native North Carolina, the nation and from around the world. We remember Ruark and we want others to remember him, too.
Anyone may join the-is society. There are no dues or fees associated with any individual's membership. Once you provide the society with your contact information you are added to the membership list. Just complete the application and submit it to the society's address in Chapel Hill, NC (USA).
You will find a few photos of Robert Ruark on this page and other pages for your enjoyment. Some pages, such as this one, feature a photo slide-presentation. Just click the point of the large center arrow below the first large photo and take the photographic slide-tour. Photos may also be saved and printed.
Greg Jenkins, Editor of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine has also given the society permission to place on this site an article that appeared in the November 2008 edition of that publication, titled "Ruark in His Prime." It's from Alan Ritchie's book, Ruark Remembered. Greg is also searching for two other articles on Ruark that appeared in Wildlife and will give the society permission to use those as well. To learn more about the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) and Wildlife in North Carolina check out the WRC website found at www.ncwildlife.org. The article "Ruark in His Prime" may be downloaded here.
This site is being rebuilt and is found at either domain name; www.robertruarksociety.org or at www.robertruark.org. It will continue to be a "work in progress" because we plan to continue inceasing the content of this site and will ultimately add a section for Ruark Archives. There we will park some of the older pages or other information for your continued reference and for review by new members. Note that we are actually just getting started and are also working on color, design and content.
We also plan to place a directory of the Robert Ruark Society online once we receive an electronic version of the directory. And too, we hope those winners of the Robert Ruark essay contest(s) will provide us an electronic copy of their essay, a photo and a brief bio for online publication. Members of the society want to see the works of those young (an older) individuals influenced by this great North Carolina writer.
Feel free to share your Robert Ruark photos and stories with the Robert Ruark Society.
Robert Ruark Society c/o UNC Arts & Sciences Foundation, 134 E. Franklin Street, CV # 6115 Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
This site was re-established on July 27, 2010 and last updated on April 23, 2013