Eighth annual Cunningham Writing Contest opens call for entries


Submissions for the eighth annual Cunningham Writing Contest are due to Trine University’s online portal by Friday, January 20, 2017, at noon.

The Cunningham Writing Contest is sponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Trine University Writing Center. It is named after and funded by generous donations from Walter Cunningham, a Tri-State University Alumnus. Cunningham endeavored to teach students the importance of honing their writing skills early in their academic and professional careers.

The contest is open to Trine University’s full-time, undergraduate population, and students have the opportunity to submit pieces under four categories: academic, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

In the past, the Cunningham Writing Contest has been well-received by students. According to Dr. Sarah Young, assistant professor of Humanities and Communication, the judges receive between 60 and 120 submissions every year.

“The Cunningham Writing Contest continues to be an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their work,” stated Dr. Young. “I hope we have equal or greater participation this year.”

When asked why students should participate, Dr. Cassandra Bausman, Writing Center director and coordinator of the Cunningham Writing Contest, advised, “Look at it as an incentive to not just complete the assignment or tick the boxes on the rubric, but to create something you and others can be proud to honor and display as model work in your given genre.”

In addition to having their work published in Trine University’s online magazine, Inscriptions Journal, winners will have their names added to a plaque outside of Wells Theater in Taylor Hall. Monetary prizes are offered, as well: $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Students may submit work under more than one category, all 4 if they so choose, and are eligible to win prizes in each category under which they submit pieces.

“The contest brings together all genres from a variety of disciplines and majors, and it’s very affirming to see the good work taking place all across campus – either in classrooms or, in the case of a lot of the fiction and poetry, in extracurricular writing groups and dorm rooms in students’ free time,” shared Dr. Bausman. “It’s a joy to read our students’ essays, poems, stories, and memoirs, and to honor those pieces that are truly exceptional.”

The submission portal can be accessed at Inscriptions Journal.


About Author


Clare Danner is a communication major with an emphasis in public relations. She plays soccer for Trine University.