Creative Writing ContestRebecca T. Watson
"Teachers must understand … that their students potentially know everything, no matter how young they are. … Students who are only seventeen have lived, after all, on earth seventeen years, and that’s a good deal of time. They’ve been born and they’ve had parents, they’ve lived in houses, they’ve had friends, they’ve had sweethearts, they’ve been angry, they’ve been jealous, they’ve been proud, they’ve been ambitious, they’ve been ashamed. There isn’t any passion that they haven’t experienced in one sense or another. … It’s necessary to remember how much they know and to have faith in the knowledge that they do have." (pronouns adjusted)
— Mark Van Doren, The Dialogues of Archibald MacLeish and Mark Van Doren 99; New York: E.P. Dutton, 1964
The Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Contest is held each Fall, in this spirit of faith in Midland College (MC) students to share their creativity, with a larger audience than their classrooms. MC English agrees with Van Doren that our students' experiences of life provide them with the rich material necessary to create writing that excites, delights, and informs.
MC began the creative writing contest in 1975, and in 2012, the contest was renamed
in honor of retired MC English Professor Rebecca Watson. Ms. Watson judged the first
contest when she was an adjunct instructor. Later, as a full-time instructor, she
grew the Creative Writing class and guided the contest to maturity as director of
Any full-time or part-time student registered in an English class at MC may enter
the contest. Past first-place winners are eligible only in a new category.
The contest accepts entries in three categories: poetry, short fiction, and essay. Contestants may submit a maximum of three poems, three fiction pieces, and/or three essays (three per category). Each category must be submitted separately.
Do NOT include your name anywhere in the submitted documents.
Each entry should be submitted on a separate page in a Microsoft Word (doc,docx) document using the following guidelines:
- Use 1” margins on all sides.
- Center the title, capitalizing important letters (follow standard MLA guidelines for titles) one inch from the top of the first page. Do not include your name or any other identifying information.
- Double-space after the title and between stanzas. Otherwise, single-space throughout.
- Place the title and the page number in a header in the top right corner every page.
- Do not include your name anywhere in the entry.
- Your filename should be the title of the entry.
The English Department invites you to submit your work using the Entry Form link below. Deadline for submitting your entries is Friday, November 20, 2020.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the Awards Ceremony will be virtual.
Winners will share videos of themselves reading brief excerpts of their writing, which
will then be shared on Midland College social media platforms.
The 2020 Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Contest has the following prizes:
- First place: $200 and Certificate of Award
- Second Place: $150 and Certificate of Award
- Third Place: $100 and Certificate of Award
- Fourth Place: $50 and Certificate of Award
- Honorable Mention: Certificate of Award
Midland College reserves the right to withhold awards in any category.
Selected writings from the Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Contest will be published in Tableau or Chaparral, annual Midland College magazines published in Spring and Fall.
A submitted work may also appear on the Midland College website. Material selected
for publication will be subject to approval of the President of Midland College.
Dr. William Christopher Brown
Spring Poetry Contest
The Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Contest is one of two writing contests hosted by the MC English department for students. The Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest is held each Spring. Start thinking about your submissions to the Spring contest now.
Creative Writing Classes at Midland College
The MC English Department invites you to further your creativity by taking our Creative Writing classes. Published authors teach MC's ENGL 2307. Register soon!
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