Athens State University’s Writing Center announced its first annual writing contest during the academic year 2012-13. The contest focused on the term voice. The call for submissions asked writers to consider the way voice is developed in their own writing, both inside and outside of school. The call also encouraged writing from various perspectives—from writing about personal experiences with “developing a voice” to exploring academic research on voice and writing.
Three judges reviewed the submissions and selected the finalists. Choosing the top three was not easy, but it was a team effort. The Athens State University Bookstore provided gift cards of $30, $20, and $10 respectively to the contest winners. The contest winners, and their submissions, are:
First Place: Nataya D. Hastings, “Why I Write.”
First Runner-up: Kelton Riley, “Voice of the Spirit.”
Second Runner-up: Summer-Rae Schwendiman, “Writing has Life after Graduation.”
This annual writing contest started as part of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan Building Success through Writing! This particular contest is led by Athens State’s Writing Center Director, Dr. Tony Ricks. According to Dr. Ricks, “Some of the academic practices this contest encourages are personal reflection, rigorous inquiry, and clear and effective written communication. The French writer Michel Montaigne coined the term essai, which in French literally means ‘to attempt’ or ‘to try.’ This contest encourages writers to courageously attempt the making and reflecting of new knowledge. It’s an exciting process!”
Students interested in sending in essays for the 2013-14 contest should look for an announcement at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester. The contest follows a different prompt each year. The Writing Center will publish the new prompt on its website at the beginning of Fall 2013 and announce it to the university community.