By Cati Currier, Staff Writer –
Awards of $100, $75, and $25 for first, second and third places in fiction, essay and poetry writing should be an incentive for students to enter the annual MCC Creative Writing Contest.
The deadline for the competition is Nov. 5, and the contest is open to any student enrolled in a credit class at MCC during the current semester. It is sponsored by the MCC English Department and the Muskegon Writers’ Center.
Students may submit a total of three entries in one or more categories. Judges selected by the MCC English department will determine the local winners. Prose will be judges on originality, purpose, audience, organization, development, style and mechanics. Fiction and poetry will be judged on imaginative insight, language sensitivity, and control of formal elements (point of view, metrics, etc.)
Maximum length for short fiction and essays is 2,000 words and 50 lines for poetry, and must have titles. All work must be original and no previously published work may be submitted. All work must be submitted under students’ own names, with no anonymous work or pseudonyms.
Neither the author’s name nor MCC should appear anywhere on the entry, but should be identified by student number in the upper right hand corner of each page. Both a hard copy and email should be submitted for each entry, with the hard copy provided to the English Department and the emailed copy to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Other specifics for submission are listed in the manuscript guidelines, which are available from English instructors or Keith in Room 154.
All prize-winners in each of the categories will then be submitted to the statewide Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) creative writing contest and published in an online journal. Copies will be distributed to all community colleges in Michigan.
“I started the writing contest about seven years ago, but I’ve been doing it intermittently for the past 18,” said Gretchen Cline, chair of the English department and contest coordinator. “Every community college in the state is encouraged to participate in the LAND contest, but not all of them do.”
Students must make sure that the directions on the entry form are followed to the letter. Cline said that in the past students before that have been disqualified from the contest, because they did not follow submission directions.
Winners are encouraged to attend the LAND conference to be held Feb. 10-12 at the Riverfront Hotel in Grand Rapids. Their expenses will be paid by the English department.
Manuscript guidelines and entry transmittal forms are available in the English Department, Rom 154, or by emailing Cline at < email@example.com >.