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College papers could earn students cash with upcoming writing contests


Do you ever wish all your hard work on midterm papers was worth more than a good grade? Well here’s an opportunity for you.

Colorado State University-Pueblo has two upcoming opportunities for students to submit their writing to win up to $150 cash for their college papers.

The first contest is the “Academic writing Awards Contest,” sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta and the English Club, and headed by Katherine Frank, an English professor and Chair of the English department at CSU-Pueblo.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get more attention for their hard work,” Frank said.

The contest is for all undergraduate students, and Frank said she encourages all disciplines to participate in the contest.

photo by Lindsay Wolking

“The greater the diversity of entries will make the contest more interesting,” Frank said.

Entries for this contest will be accepted in three categories:
• Lower Division – 100 and 200 level courses
• Upper Division – 300 and 400 level courses
• English Composition I and II – ENG 101 and 102 courses.

Frank said the contest has a set of guidelines for submissions and requires students to have a faculty sponsor.

“(By requiring a faculty sponsor) students have an opportunity to revisit with their professor to revise a paper for submission,” Frank said.

First, second and third place winners will be selected from each category. First place winners will be awarded $150, while $100 and $50 goes to second and third place winners.

Winners will also be recognized at an awards banquet, Frank said, shared with the winners from the other writing contest; The “Student Creative Writing Awards Contest” sponsored by CSU-Pueblo Tempered Steel literary magazine.

Faculty sponsor Juan Morales said the “Student Creative Writing Awards Contest” is open to all students as long as the quality of the work falls under the guidelines of submission.

This contest will be accepting entries under two categories: prose, which includes original short stories and fiction, and creative non-fiction —not expository— and poetry.

Morales said this contest gives students the “rare” opportunity to be paid for their writing, as well as being considered for publication in the Tempered Steel literary magazine. Morales said consideration will include non-winners.

Morales said since submission for this contest is electronic, submitting work can be a simple task. He said some entries have already been received, but additional entries would make the contest more interesting.

The deadline for both contests is April 5.

Both Frank and Morales encourage students to submit their work and are hoping for a competitive atmosphere in judging. Morales said judging usually takes about a week and then winners will be notified for the banquet.

For submission guidelines or more information contact Frank at 549-2886 or and Morales at 549-2082 or

Here is the contest information.

2009-10 Student Academic Writing Awards Contest
Colorado State University-Pueblo

I. The Contest
The Colorado State University-Pueblo Writing Across the Curriculum Project, Sigma Tau Delta, and English Club are coordinating the Fifth Annual Student Academic Writing Awards Contest. All CSU-Pueblo undergraduate students are eligible for the awards. Entries will be accepted in three categories:

A. Lower Division – 100- & 200-level courses: Papers written for any 100- or 200-level course.
B. Upper Division – 300- & 400-level courses: Papers written for any 300- or 400-level course.
C. English Composition I & II – ENG 101 & 102. Entries in this category are to be one of two types of composition:
1. Persuasive/argumentative short essay (3-5 pages, MLA format). Although external support is encouraged, it is not required.
2. Persuasive/argumentative research paper (8-12 pages, MLA format), emphasizing strong external support.

Note: For any questions, including which courses are eligible for which categories, please contact Dr. Katherine Frank (ext. 2886) or

II. Awards
Cash awards will be given in each of the three categories. Amounts will be the same as those given last year:

First Place – $150; Second Place – $100; Third Place – $50

There will be an awards banquet for winning entries. In addition, winners may be recognized with a temporary or permanent display of award recipients, a compilation in published form, or other ways yet to be determined.

III. Judging Criteria
Submissions will be evaluated in these areas, with winners demonstrating outstanding achievement in each:
Critical thinking
Originality in thinking
Clarity of reasoning
Understandability and elegance of presentation
College-level use of standard English (grammar, mechanics, usage, etc.)

IV. General Requirements
Submitted entries must have originated as an assignment in a class taken in Summer 2009 or Fall 2009 or Spring 2010.

• Entries in all categories must have a “sponsoring professor” who can give suggestions or guidance to a student who wants to revise, expand, or otherwise modify the submission in an attempt to improve it. The sponsor will also verify that the assignment came from her/his class (see submission form), and that the student has used a format and documentation style (MLA, APA, CMS, etc.) appropriate to the discipline.
• Entries do not need to be exclusively writing (text) in nature, but should have a significant writing component and be thesis-driven.
• Entries must have a minimum of 1000 words (except composition – see above).
• Entries must be non-fiction (expository as opposed to creative writing).
• Entries must be clean copies (no extraneous markings or notes) of final drafts, using ONLY personal identification (PID) numbers to indicate authorship.
• Entries may not have been previously published. Students must agree to allow their work to be used or republished by CSU-Pueblo without compensation to the student (see submission form for additional details).

Please submit entries (with completed submission form) to:
Dr. Jeff Piquette – Technology 269
549-2825 (office)
549-2247 (fax)

V. Submissions
Examples of entries that qualify for submission (NOT a complete list):
Research papers
In-depth laboratory reports
Explications and/or critiques of artists and/or genres
Analyses and/or explanations of theories, theorems, hypotheses, etc. (mathematical, scientific, literary, etc.)

Examples of entries that will NOT qualify for submission:
Projects that are primarily graphic or artistic
Projects that are live performances (including oral presentations)
Websites (unless there is a significant component of original student writing integral to the site – minimum 1000 words)

The deadline for entries is Monday, April 5, 2010.