First-Year Writing Program Writing Contest

man writing in notebook

When professors from the Department of English give their students assignments, they are constantly impressed with the work they create and how they make the assignments their own.

To show students that their writing can circulate beyond the classroom, the department introduced the First-Year Writing Program Writing Contest.

“Our students create a wide variety of digital and non-digital texts and work with a lot of really interesting topics that have direct connections to their lives including cultural diversity, different communities they belong to and experiences with writing in diverse contexts,” instructor Christine Martorana said.

ENC 1101 instructors nominated one student per section of the course. The writing contest committee – Darrel Elmore, Paul Feigenbaum, Christine Martorana, Vanessa Kraemer Sohan and Nick Vagnoni – selected winning projects based on how they exemplified the excellent student work produced in the course.

The results are in:

  • First place: “Cultural Snapshot: Nicaraguan Flag” by Maria Fernanda Rodriguez
    • “I’ve always felt the need to share my country’s story. Nicaragua deserves to be listened to and I am proud to share my personal story with the world,” psychology student Fernando Rodriguez said.
  • Second place: “The Secret to a Good Night Sleep: ASMR Discourse Community” by Vanessa Paolino
    • “When I came here to the United States from Venezuela, I did not feel comfortable talking out loud because I was afraid of not pronouncing words correctly and was self-conscious of my accent, biology student Paolino said. “This project allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. My confidence in my own abilities has gone up and it makes me feel proud of my progress with the language.”
  • Third place: “My Personal Definition of Writing” by Estee Arias
    • “Elaborating on the profundity of writing and being able to weave in my own experiences along the way is something I am proud of,” English student Arias said. “The project allowed me to step back and truly appreciate what it means to write – whether it be through my use of language, hard work and practice or the work of others.”

Each winner will receive a gift card to the FIU bookstore.

Christine Martorana contributed to this article.