The Writing Center launched its application for the second year of its Writing Awards program Jan. 31, expanding to include four different awards of $1000 each, sponsored by U.S. News & World Report.
The awards seek to promote the creation of high quality writing at Georgetown and the editing process through the Writing Center.
The awards began in 2016 as two separate awards of $500 each in support of the writing requirement for undergraduates.
Submissions for the award are due April 5.
The Writing Center funds the award and will select judges for the contest. The writing center will also help edit all pieces.
Submissions must fall under one of four categories: natural and physical sciences, social sciences, public policy and data and computer sciences.
The essays will be judged by a panel of writing center tutors. The submissions will then move on to a second round, judged by a panel of outside experts in the different fields.
Writing Center tutor Sara Carioscia (COL ’17) (full disclosure: Carioscia is a Hoya Staff Writer), along with Director of the Writing Center David Lipscomb, reached out to U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief Brian Kelly (COL ’76) for help with creating the awards in spring 2016.
“We believed that U.S. News & World Report supported our mission to help develop students’ writing to the level required in the professional world,” Carioscia wrote in an email to The Hoya.
According to Writing Center tutor Caroline Genster (COL ’19), the award draws attention to the necessity of good writing in all fields.
“The ability to communicate effectively and clearly about a topic is an important skill for anyone,” Genster said. “It’s awesome they’re putting this much money into supporting clear writing in science fields.”
Writing center tutor Isabella Perera (SFS ’19) said she hopes the award will grow to encompass a wide variety of topics.
“There is a need for writing in every single subject area no matter what your major is,” Perera said. “No matter what, there is a demand and a huge value to be able to clearly explain what you are doing towards a large audience. It’s something that will transcend through your Georgetown experience.”
Olivia Matthews (COL ’18), who won one of the two awards last year for an essay she wrote as part of her Writing and Culture seminar, said the program pushes students to keep refining their writing.
“It’s a good award to have,” Matthews said. “By making it run through the Writing Center, it’s getting kids who are usually pretty confident in their schoolwork to go to the Writing Center.”
Tyler Welsh (COL ’18) (full discolosure: Welsh is a Hoya Staff Writer, who won the other award in the 2016 Writing Awards program for a 20-page creative nonfiction essay from an integrated writing course, said the award motivates good writing by offering a reward for hard work.
“It’s great to be validated for your work, because writing is so subjective,” Welsh said. “I really like the fact that the Writing Center is emphasizing this culture of writing at Georgetown, which goes unnoticed.”
Welsh said he hopes the awards will increase awareness for the services offered at the Writing Center.
“I’ve definitely noticed that when students come in, they come out feeling better, satisfied, more comfortable about their paper,” Welsh said. “Hopefully this will draw attention to the writing center and the greater writing community at Georgetown.”