Two Students Score in Writing Contest

0 Commentsby   |  08.25.11  |  Creative Writing

For more than a decade ACU students have had a reputation for making their mark in the annual Christianity and Literature Student Writing Contest. This year is no exception as we learned from results announced over the summer.

Paige Wallner and Jordan Havens won second and third place respectively in the nonfiction category of the contest, competing against students from colleges and universities around the country.

Their work was chosen to be honored by this year’s judge, Prof. Debra Rienstra of Calvin College’s English Department. As a prize, Paige and Jordan will receive their choice of books from Word Farm Press and a year’s subscription to the respected journal of the arts and faith, Image.

Paige’s piece, “Michigan: A Family Vacation Rerun,” is an energetic, laugh-out-loud and nostalgic look at how her family has vacationed in the same place every year and every year family members exhibit the same eccentricities. Paige is a Junior Interdisciplinary Studies Major from Arlington Heights, Illinois.

When You Walk Through Garden” by Jordan takes another approach using eloquent, poetic prose. The writer relives a mission trip to L.A. when he was full of naive idealism about his faith and how he could save people. Instead of saving anyone, he gets tripped up by his own hubris, the rough edges of his fellow Christians, and a romantic infatuation with a co-worker. Jordan is a senior English major from Lubbock. Last year he spent a semester at the L.A. Film Studies Center in Hollywood.

Both Paige and Jordan wrote their pieces in Eng. 320: Creative Nonfiction which is taught every spring by writer in residence Al Haley.

Complete results of the CCL contest can be found at the CCL website. You can also read there the full text of Jordan and Paige’s pieces as well as some of the other contest winners.

Prof. Haley notes that this was the first year that the contest opened a new category besides the usual fiction, nonfiction, and poetry entries. There are now awards given for best essay. He encourages students and their professors to begin thinking about what traditional (i.e., nonnarrative) papers on literature or other topics they might write and submit to the contest by the March 1, 2012 deadline.

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