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Writing Contest

The annual writing contest is now sponsored by the Centralia College Writing Center and provides prizes for 3 students who will also have their work published on the Writing Center Web page.

For more information about the contest or for submission guidelines, contact Dawn Sweetingham in Kemp 111 A, ext. 319.

Contest winners and details

The winners of the writing contest will be honored at the end of the year Writing Center celebration. Student authors will be spotlighted and rewarded for their writing achievements.

The 2010 writing contest will be a bit different. Doris Wood has retired and the Centralia College Writing Center will take over the Writing Contest. Instead of cash prizes, winners will receive gift cards from area businesses. For more information about the contest or for submission guidelines, contact Dawn Sweetingham in Kemp Hall 111 A or call 736-9391 ext. 319.

About the annual writing contest

Each spring since 1989, one of the highlights has been the annual Centralia College Writing Contest. An English Department adjunct faculty member, Linda Streever, felt that writing students's work should be recognized as a way of encouragement as well as achievement. The College Foundation agreed to fund a mini-grant which would provide three prizes: $150 for first, $100 for second, and $50 for third.

Department members agreed that the essay entries should be ones written as a response to an assignment, be expository in nature, and be between approximately 500-700 words in length. Faculty members in all disciplines were encouraged to submit what they considered to be outstanding student work. Judges from across the campus were selected and the winners were ultimately chosen, honored with a reception, and their winning essays were then printed in the next issue of the blue & gold, the College newspaper.

Since 1990, Doris Wood has directed the contest and she reports that over the years some changes have occurred. First of all, while the original intent was to promote entries from across the campus, it became clear that the best fit for entries came from courses within the English curriculum itself. A decision was made to just focus the contest on those courses rather than unintentionally create ill will among faculty.

Also, during one point when the Foundation's resources were stretched beyond supplying the prize money, the student club Beyond Parallax was approached about being the benefactors. Their link to creative writing seemed like a natural fit for the writing contest. Their membership enthusiastically endorsed the idea and voted to provide the funds for the prizes from that time on. The contest director felt that Beyond Parallax should then also be able to hold one of the judge's slots each year, a task they continue to take seriously.

For the past several years, the winners of the writing contest are honored at the publication party of the yearly edition of Beyond Parallax. This makes for quite the gala occasion. On the chosen June afternoon the contest winners (and often their friends and families) gather along with BP members and authors appearing in the new book for the awards ceremony and the distribution of the new edition. Photos are taken, reporters stories are filed, and refreshments are enjoyed. The purpose of the contest is fulfilled once again. Student authors are spotlighted and rewarded for their writing achievements.