Writers from any major have an opportunity to write outside the curriculum.
Submission for the 10th annual Ruth and Ted Braun Endowed Writing Awards are due Friday, March 16.
Essays from any of the nine categories are accepted, including general education, graduate programs, graduate and undergraduate multimedia, as well as from the college of arts and behavioral sciences, business, education, health and human services and science, engineering and technology.
The University Writing Committee and two or three professors from the department will read and judge submissions.
The committee, which also hosts the National Day of Writing, consists of professors from each college at the University.
The Braun Award, which features academic writing, publishes writers in both an annual SVSU publication, managed by Diane Boehm, and on the SVSU website. Winners receive a cash reward and certificate.
Boehm, member of the UW Committee, director of the writing center and English professor, said that faculty often use winning essays as models for future classes.
“It lets students see what that kind of paper looks like,” Boehm said.
Through faculty nomination, the committee encourages students to ask professors for a nomination.
“There is always an amazing array of things being published,” Boehm said. “And the best part is recognizing the students’ writing.”
“Every year is different than the year before,” Boehm said. “And that makes the judging challenging.”
If nominated, students will have to revise their original work for a more general audience.
“They get a grade of course,” said Deb Wagner, University writing committee chairperson and nursing professor. “But some students want to go beyond that. It gives them the opportunity to get their work published.”
Winning can look good on a resume.
“Every job ad is looking for students with good communication skills,” Boehm said. “One way to demonstrate that is to refer to an award like this.”
Multimedia winners will get their videos and presentations linked on the SVSU website.
“We have a working relationship with the multimedia winners,” Boehm said.
“The more lasting reward is the confidence as a writer,” Wagner said. “And they can take that with them.”
Wagner said that the committee looks for clarity, structure and organization in a well-written essay. Yet, that doesn’t mean a “writing-intensive” essay.
“Nursing is writing intensive, but other departments also contribute a large number of submissions,” Wagner said.
Submission guidelines don’t require the student to have taken a writing intensive course.
“Critique is at the critical aspect of writing,” Wagner said. “To really critique an essay you have to read and share them.
Alicia Kozakowski, OT graduate said, “You have to be competent in the area you are writing about and go to existing literature.”
She suggested that students use the knowledge they gain in the classroom to always write award-winning essays, even without the award, and to remember to use the resources available on campus.
Danielle Radosa, exercise science junior, said the only writing intensive course she has taken was a criminal justice class, but she has written essays for other classes.
“Good papers challenge you to write to your best abilities,” she said.
To write a good essay, Megan Denton, exercise science sophomore said that it has to be something original.
“You have to write like no one else has written or said before,” she said.
For students looking to apply, Boehm suggests checking out the guidelines on the SVSU website.