The Culver Writing Center honored student writers in 11 different categories and named one overall winner during its seventh annual Academies’ Awards for Excellence in Writing Monday evening.
Humanities instructor and Writing Center Director Emily Uebler told the audience gathered she was happy to hear University of Chicago Prof. Nick Epley tell students that “writing is hard work” while talking about completing his book “Mindwise.”
Prior to handing out the awards, three students and three faculty members spoke about the writing process. Apple Li ’20 (Shanghai, China), who received the overall award for her Vedette piece on “Creating a CGA statement: The creation of The Divine,” said she strives to write stories that “resonate with my audience.” While it is important to know your intended audience, she explained, the writer must also maintain a neutral tone in her journalistic writing.
Humanities instructor Larry Flynn said journalism allows him to wake up every morning and ask “OK world, what do you have for me today?” Journalism is the opportunity to learn more about a subject and share that information with the readers.
Talking about scholarly writing, Humanities instructor Sabrina Gilchrist also talked about knowing the audience and using the jargon associated with the field and referencing articles and writing by experts (name-dropping). But the first order of business is finding a subject that “you love.”
Kathrine Ives ’19 (Charlotte, N.C.) said she found writing her Honors Research paper on global obesity to be a “very vunerable” process. She added that she realized in the day-after-day process of putting her paper together that “writing is rewriting,” something that her instructor John Buggeln told her.
Kara Gamel ’20 talked about her creative writing, which includes short stories and her attempt at her first book. She wrote 125 pages over winter break, she said, only to realize when she revisited her work that 120 pages were about “five characters that nobody but me cares about.” But that’s OK, she added, because she is now a better writer because of it. “I’ve improved my work.”
Humanities instructor Josh Brown said he works to use the lexicon of the people you are writing about. “Open yourself up to the experiences that are there,” he said, and think about “What do I want to leave behind?” This helps you capture those special moments in time.
The winners and runners-up in each category were:
- Overall – Apple Li
- History or Politics – Janelli Li and Erin Pollard
- Honors Research – Eva Sech and Lauryn Walker
- Literature, Art, Film or Music Analysis – Sophia George and Joan Lin
- STEM – Algae Zhu and Terry Cheng
- Narrative, 9-10 – Jack Chittum and Emma Janda
- Narrative, 11-12 – Erin Postma and Harry Qin
- Poetry, 9-10 – Jenna Pae and Brett LeVan
- Poetry, 11-12 – Sophia George and Jack Wilkens
- Short Story – Drew Seddelmeyer and Kara Gamel
- Speech – Steven Su and Evan Lu
- Journalism – Harry Qin and Apple Li