Student Literary Competition


Students from League for Innovation member colleges throughout the United States and Canada recently submitted samples of their literary work for judging in the annual League for Innovation in the Community College Student Literary Competition.

The fifth annual competition, sponsored by the League for Innovation and hosted this year by Delta College, was created to encourage and reward  creative writing skills of community college students.  Students were invited to submit their works for judging in three categories: short story, essay, and poetry.

The League for Innovation presented a First Place, a Second Place, and a Third Place in each category, and several Honorable Mentions. In the short story category the First Place award went to Patricia Bezunartea, Maricopa Community Colleges,
Scottsdale Community College, for a short story titled "The Tamales That Saved Pete Cruz"; Second Place was won by Charles Burm, Monroe Community College, for "The Long, Cold Hall"; and the Third Place award was presented to Eleanor Graham, Dallas County Community College District, Richland College, for "Parking Lot Sonata."

An Honorable Mention award in this category was given to Shauna DeGagne, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, for the work titled "Just Passing By." 

In the personal essay category, the First Place award went to June Cressy, San Diego Community College District, San Diego Mesa College, for an essay titled "Picture This"; the Second Place went to Juan Minter, Maricopa Community Colleges, Gateway College, for "Cheers to You Mrs. Robinson"; and the Third Place award was won by Laura Wright, Central Piedmont Community College, for the essay titled "California Girl."

Honorable Mention awards in this category were awarded to Jennifer Behmlander, Delta College, for "Blonde Bimbo or Beautiful Brains?"; Louis Tsiktsiris, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, for "I Donít Know"; Rebecca Shaffer, Johnson County Community College, for "When Autumn Comes"; Janette Snow, Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, for the work titled "A Time to Live and a Time to Die"; Eric Nelson, Lane Community College, for "On the Month of May"; Roxanne Wigginton, Moraine Valley Community College, for "Have a Nice Day!"; Rebecca Light, St. Louis Community College @ Florissant Valley, for "Prose in D Minor"; and Georgie Breville, Santa Fe Community College, for "The Color of My Skin." 

First Place in the poetry category was won by Karl Hess, Seattle Community College District, Seattle Central Community College, for his poem "Weed of Memory"; Second Place went to Jake Vermaas, Lane Community College, for "The Poor Knight Revisited"; and a Third Place award was given to Chloe Nelia, Johnson County Community College, for "Finding Chloe."

Honorable Mention awards in this category were given to Abram Valdez, Dallas County Community College District, Brookhaven College, for the work titled "In-a-Sense: Distant Cousin"; Helena Renne,
Miami-Dade Community College District, for a poem titled "Chocolate Mist"; and Lucy Holewinski, Moraine Valley Community College, for a poem titled "This is the Picture." 

Three nationally recognized writers judged the entries in their respective categories. The judge for the short story category was Ethan Canin, a well-known fiction writer and author of "Emperor of the Air," "Blue
River," and most recently "The Palace Thief." Canin lives in California where he works as a
doctor. Michael Steinberg, judge for the personal essay category, is a writer and professor of writing at Michigan State University. His essays and memoirs have won national awards, including The Missouri
Review Editorís Prize for "Trading Off," a Roberts  Writing Award, and a Writing Self award to name a few. The poetry category was judged by Nancy Eimers, a 1987 Nation "Discovery" winner and a
recipient of a 1989 NEA grant.  

Her poems have appeared in such magazines as The Nation, North American Review, and Crazyhorse. Eimers teaches creative writing at Western Michigan University.  "Destroying Angels" is her most recent publication. 

Lane Community College will prepare a literary publication of all winning entries and will distribute it to League colleges in the fall.

This annual competition is hosted each year by one of the League's 20 community college districts. Maricopa Community Colleges will host the 1998-99 competition.

Founded in 1968, the League for Innovation is a consortium of 20 community college districts that includes 58 public institutions in fifteen states and Canada. League colleges enroll more than 500,000 students.

For more information about the competition, contact Mary Beth Looby, Delta College, (517) 686-9167.