What is the WCI Writing Contest?
The Writing & Critical Inquiry (WCI) Program holds a writing contest for current WCI students each semester to encourage independent thinking, collective reflection and meaningful engagement.
Our collaborative judging process makes the contest unique: WCI faculty members read all submissions and select a small batch of promising essays to bring into their classes. Students act as the final judges by discussing and then voting on the selected submissions.
Reading student work from other WCI course sections allows instructors to reflect on varying pedagogical approaches with their colleagues, while encouraging students to engage in critical discussions of their peers’ writing.
Together, we determine what effective writing looks like and how it’s used to deepen inquiry — and honor the idea that there is no one way to write.
Winners are invited to read and discuss their work at a celebration attended by WCI faculty and students, including those who participated as judges.
Submissions are collected from September 15 to December 31 for fall semester courses and from January 15 to May 31 for spring semester courses.
Students may only submit during the semester they are enrolled in a WCI course.
Students may submit one piece of writing per category (personal essay, analysis and argument/conversation). A separate entry must be made for each submission.
Entries are read anonymously. Therefore, do not include your name anywhere on or in the essay itself. Please include the title on the first page and use a .doc, .docx, .rtf or .pdf file format.
By entering the contest, you agree to have your work read and discussed by WCI students in the following semester’s class sections, to have your work available publicly on the WCI website and to have your work used in future WCI classes.