Second annual First-Year Writing Program Writing Contest winners

man writing in notebook

Despite the unpredictable academic year, FIU student writers continue to produce impactful, engaging work.

To recognize some of this work, the FIU Writing and Rhetoric program hosted its second annual First-Year Writing Program Writing Contest. Writing instructors nominated one student project per section of ENC 1101. Winners were selected based on how well they exemplified some of the values of the FIU Writing and Rhetoric program including critical thinking, personal reflection, linguistic and cultural diversity, and composing in digital contexts.

This year’s winners are:

  • First place: “The Color of My Voice” by Andrea Mariana Hoyos-Perez
    • Hoyos-Perez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in an enclave with Dominican immigrants. When asked to reflect on her project, the psychology major explains her ENC 1101 Teaching Assistant was the one who encouraged her to pour her heart into this project. “At first, I wasn’t very confident about my voice, but when she read my draft and identified herself with my story, I remembered my passion was to make others feel seen,” Hoyos-Perez said. “Although I didn’t think most people would want to hear what I had to say, I knew it still had value. This experience allowed me to amplify that voice and to honor what makes me who I am.”
  • Second place: “Entre Lenguas” by Selene Serra
    • Serra moved to the U.S. from Caracas, Venezuela 4 years ago and is majoring in communications. Serra considers “Entre Lenguas” a very personal writing piece. “It is the story of my moving to the United States, told through my feelings towards both of the languages I speak,” she said. “I have always enjoyed romances, so I didn’t want to throw away the chance of incorporating it into the writing.”
  • Third place: “Writing in College Isn’t So Scary!” by Theresa Cortiñas
    • A Florida native, Cortiñas is majoring in computer science. “When working on the project, I kept in mind my own experience as a freshman starting off in college,” Cortiñas said. “My first semester was in the summer, while most students usually begin in the fall. I had to figure out a lot of things on my own. The limits of high school writing were suddenly broken and I found myself in uncharted college writing territory.” She hopes her project will provide helpful tips and resources for freshmen to ensure a smooth transition.

Each winner will receive an Amazon gift card.

Christine Martorana contributed to this article.