On Wednesday, February 8, the Midland College (MC) English Department hosted the Rebecca
Watson Creative Writing Contest Awards Celebration at 4:00 pm in the Allison Fine
Arts Building Wagner & Brown Auditorium. Awards were presented in three categories—
Essay, Poetry and Short Fiction. During the event, students read excerpts from the
top entries before the winners were announced.
In the Essay category, Shelby Richardson won first place for “Last Words.” Jessica Maduabuchuku won first place in Poetry for her work entitled “Sestina.” Jayne Bauer won first place for her short fiction piece entitled “The Welcoming Committee.”
Second-place winners included Emily Nguyen for “Lost in the Mail” (Essay), Ethan Hedges for “Silence, Dominant” (Poetry), and Ruben Ramirez, Jr. for “3 Boys” (Short Fiction).
Third-place winners were Audriana Salais for “Life Sucks and Then There is a Super Bloom” (Essay), Liam Swain for “Origami” (Poetry) and Jacqueline Gomez for “The Robbery of a Lifetime” (Short Fiction).
Fourth place and honorable mention awards were given to Ethan Hedges, Taja Stephens, Ashlin Tabares, Emily Gaines and Kayla Gatlin.
MC began the creative writing contest in 1975, and in 2012, the contest was renamed
in honor of former MC English Professor Rebecca Watson. Ms. Watson judged the first
contest when she was an adjunct instructor, and then she guided the contest to maturity
over many years of teaching creative writing classes and directing the contest. Watson
passed away in 2021; however, her legacy continues through the annual contest.
“We are grateful for Rebecca’s years of dedicated service to MC and her commitment
to fostering creative writing among MC students,” Dr. William Christopher Brown, professor
and chair of the MC English department, said. “Judges were very impressed with the
quality of the entries and commended all contestants on their efforts.”
Photo: Winners of the 2023 Rebecca Watson Creative Writing Contest. Pictured from
left to right are Ruben Ramirez, Jr., Jayne Bauer, Liam Swain, Jessica Maduabuchuku,
Emily Gaines, Audriana Salais, Shelby Richardson, Emily Nguyen and Ethan Hedges