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First-Year Composition announces winning essays

TWU’s First-Year Composition (FYC) program annually hosts essay contests that award $1,200 or more in prizes to students submitting high-quality, thought-provoking papers and projects composed for credit in English 1013 or 1023 courses. Nearly 100 submissions were received this year, and all submissions were considered and blinded prior to judging. The contest awards committee consists of English, speech and foreign languages faculty members Jackie Hoermann-Elliott and Rachel Daugherty, graduate student contest chair Desiree Thorpe, and graduate student judges Lia Schuermann and Margaret Williams.

For the TWU Alumni Writing Awards for First-Year Composition Contest, an endowed contest funding up to $1,000 in awards thanks to generous alumni donations, four awards were given for first- and second-place essays written in English 1013 and 1023 courses. Nearly all of the winners for this contest wished to remain anonymous, but one student, Julio Navarro Escalante, was comfortable being named. Escalante won second place overall for an English 1013 essay, “The Murders Left Unaccounted for,” in which he conducts a visual rhetorical analysis of an advertisement for the World Wide Fund for Nature speaking out against tourist purchasing exotic animal souvenirs.

For the Writing about Diversity Contest, two winners emerged:

  • Quinn Barker, "Are We Too Quick to Reward Queer Representation?"
  • Stefany Farmer, "I am Not Forcing Assimilation, I Am Begging for Tolerance"

Three winners were announced for the Multimodal Project Contest:

  • An anonymous student, "Why Was the Game UNDERTALE So Captivating?”
  • Deanna West, “Growing Up A Future Olympian: The Remix”
  • Jonathon Sawcki, "Racism In Healthcare"

Each year, the TWU FYC Program offers approximately 100 sections of courses, serving well over 2,000 students. Support is provided by 30 or so instructors, which includes graduate teaching assistants, adjuncts, dual enrollment teachers, and full-time faculty members. For more information on these contests or the program, contact FYC director Jackie Hoermann-Elliott at