LAND writing contest winners named - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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LAND writing contest winners named

LAND writing

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

All LCC students who were registered during 2023 were invited to take part in an LCC Writing Contest that serves as a preliminary to the 2024 LAND Creative Writing Contest.

The LAND contest is a statewide competition. The deadline for submissions to the LCC Writing Contest was Nov. 30, 2023. The winners have been announced as listed below:

ESSAY:
FIRST:
ZOE JONES, “Dashes, Dots, and Distorted Identity; Challenging a Michigan Naming Law”
SECOND:
ZOE JONES, “Be Careful What You Wish For; A TCK’s Quest For her Place in the Story”
THIRD PLACE:
YVONNE STEWART, “My Hair Is My Crown”

POETRY:
FIRST PLACE:
ANGEL AGBAY, “Once Upon A Time”
SECOND PLACE:
RICK BILODEAU, “Fright Night”
THIRD PLACE:
TABITHA WRIGHT, “24:3”

FICTION:
FIRST PLACE:
HENRY VOZZO, “The Ancient Customs”
SECOND PLACE:
LEAH CAPP, “Tropical Fever Dream”
THIRD PLACE:
TABITHA WRIGHT, “When the Lights Go Out”

All first-place winners received a prize of $100. All second-place winners received a prize of $75 and third-place winners received a prize of $25. The top two winning contestants in each category were then entered into the statewide LAND contest.

Annie Schnarr, assistant professor of English and lead coordinator of the LCC Writing Contest, said she was truly inspired by the work submitted by LCC students.

“At a time when some students might be considering outsourcing their writing to AI,” Schnarr said, “it’s really inspiring to see our creative writers at LCC investing so much time and effort into exploring and realizing their own unique and authentic voices.”

In related news, Rick Bilodeau won third prize in the Poetry Category of the statewide competition. His poem, “Fright Night,” was written as a tribute to 2023 Michigan State University shooting. It received the following feedback as judge commentary:

“’Fright Night’ is an interesting poem that deals with gun violence. The writer does not speak of the grotesque aspect of these shootings. Nor does the writer display graphic scenes of violence. The writer speaks as ‘the observer, the witness’ to these violent acts – almost in awe: ‘A single person took the school by storm.’

“The writer then goes on to write: ‘Yes, it takes just one to bring a campus to its knees.’ Here, the writer processes his/her emotions to understand how it takes ‘just one’ person to do such a violent act. The rhyme scheme also adds to the innocent nature of students: ‘The deed was done, ending campus fun.’

“There is also a sense of romanticism in the closing line as the writer sees, then internalizes these school shootings and what needs to be done about them: ‘till Congress gets in the game. A Bill passed there, sullen victory cries filled the air.’ Here, there is optimism and hope that things will change, but the memories will last forever in our ‘sullen cries.’”

Bilodeau also received another cash prize of $50 for his state submission, as well as a promise of publication and an invitation to the 39th annual LAND Conference.

Schnarr added the presence of human connection, or lack thereof, in today’s writing is the reason that students need to be reminded that their authentic voice matters.

“This contest gives me faith,” she said.

To view the Liberal Arts Network for Development homepage, click here. Annie Schnarr can be contacted via email at schnarra@lcc.edu.

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