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College Writing Contest

The College Writing Committee presents awards for outstanding undergraduate and graduate student writing in several categories:

  • Academic Writing (papers based on sources or other data)
  • Academic Writing from Composition (CPN) courses
  • Fiction (short stories, scripts)
  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Media Design (Judges will place emphasis on writing content. Pages should contain a mini-mum of 500 words of written text.)
  • Personal Writing
  • Writing related to SUNY Cortland's "common read," The Kite Runner (fall, 2012)
  • Teacher Research essays that take a classroom as the research site

The work for these categories must have originated in a course taken at SUNY Cortland during the calendar year of the contest. For example, papers written for classes taken between January 2012 and December 2012 are eligible for the 2012 contest.

Entries for the category Personal Writing may be in any genre, and they do not have to originate in a course taken at Cortland.

First place winners receive a cash prize of $100 and have their writing published in a booklet and presented at Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference (formerly Scholars' Day).

We encourage submissions by writers in all majors and at all levels of study. Entries may be submitted by professors or by students themselves. The contest deadline is December 21.

Submit electronic entries only: Entrants should not include their name on the competition paper itself. In an email message, they should indicate their name and ID number, the title of the submission, the category of the writing (e.g., academic writing, fiction, creative nonfiction), the course for which the paper was written, and the name of the course professor. Electronic copies should be in Word format.

Entrants may submit multiple submissions in one or more genres; however, each entry must be sent as a separate attachment to an email message.

Send entries to

Contest Winners


Short Stories

Not Here
Collin Anderson 

The Lifestyle of the Visually Impaired
Brenna Filipello

Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Willa Cather?s “Paul?s Case”
Sarah Kane

An untitled piece of science fiction
Amie Whitlock

Lauren Menchini

I Feel It in My Teeth, and Hers, and Hers Too
James Reardon


Cortland Professional Writing Web Site
Taylor Morris




Robot Music (for people with robot ears)
Brooke Alden Hoffman

Creative Nonfiction

The Butterfly Snatcher
Michael DeVito


A Story About--
Kaitlyn Curtis

Academic Writing

“The light she helped kindle”: Revisiting Emma Hart Willard and the Troy Female Seminary, 1822-1844
Michael Read

 Homework Help
Victoria McGahan

Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We and the Fallacies of Logic in Utopia

Andrew Hamilton




Dust mite discotheque
On Anosmia
Joseph Tutko

Creative Non-Fiction

A Complicated Decision
Erica Brazee

Snapshot: Quick Like a Bunny
Jennifer Ondrako

Short Story

Chasing Satan
Joyce Hansen

Flower of the Field
Krista Merry

Academic Writing

Visual Arts: Effective Means to Enhance Creative Writing Quality
Karen Randle

Needle Exchange Programs: Making a Risky Behavior Safer
Kimberly K. Swan


Creative Nonfiction

My Remington Summer
Savanna Kucerak

Before the Land Was Ours
Jerome M. Degan

The Chess Queen
Diana Gallagher


Concealed Manifesto: A Compilation of Life's Experiences
Philip Bolton Jr.

Research Essay

Finding the Freedoms of Contemporary Free Verse
Allison Porzio


Creative Nonfiction

The Frustrated Dance
Diana Gallagher

Mine to Wander
Amanda Smith

Academic Writing

The British Empire: Catalyst for the Demise of the Zulu Kingdom
Sara Housworth


Where Can I Find the Local Fishmonger
Paul Murray


Maybe I Am . . .
Paul Murray


Creative Nonfiction

Notebook of an Agitator
Don Unger

Academic Writing

Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" and The Jerry Springer Show: Cheap Laughs, Great Ratings, and Sexual Deviation
Jacqueline Deal

The Trojan Horse Incident
Judd D. Olshan


You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Dim
Don Unger


Onward: Poetry for the New Millennium
When You're Poor, Life is Punctuated by Pounding

Don Unger


Creative Nonfiction

Dental Malocclusion in Oryctolagus Ciniculus
Lesczyk Krempel

To My Grandmother, the Renegade
Sarah Delarco

The Ghost of Morgan
Tanja Jackisch

Coming Out Crip
Lesczyk Kremple

Academic Writing

Understanding Child Development: Building Effective Teaching Practice
Gerry Ponterio

Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome
Tina Cooman

Trajan's Markets
Arlette Prothin


Creative Nonfiction

For Leah Camille
Brooke O'Connor

Dark Glory
Mario Hernandez

Getting To Know Myself
Karen E. Gordon


Baby Doll
Les Krempel

Academic Writing

Writing Assessment: Grading to Writing Environments with Portfolio Assessment
Scott D. Stratton

A Woman Not Fit for Our Society: Social Order, Gender and Authority in Late 17th-Century Boston
Adam Brechner

Rent: Reinventing the Musical Genre Through the Limitations of Representation
Rori Nogee

Molecules That Affect Megakaryocyte Development
Sheila Akinyi


Academic Writing

Virginia Woolf's Communist Manifesto for the Soul
Johnny Woodnal

Grandfather's Journey-Views from the Immigrant Path
Susan Evans Pond

Rethinking Contemporary Criticism of Uncle Tom's Cabin: Unraveling the Myth of Transparency
Veronica Margrave