Department of English Announces Winners of 2019 Writing Contests

"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."
— Virginia Woolf

The Department of English is pleased to announce the winners of the Pacific University 2019 Writing Contests. First place pieces will be published in the next issue of PLUM: Pacific’s Literature by Undergraduates Magazine in addition to a cash award. Each category was read by an accomplished judge in the particular genre from outside the university community. All submitted work was produced in either an English Literature, Creative Writing, or Research & Writing course.

College Writing

  • 1st Place: Dana McCarthy, “Humor Me on This: The Impact of Comedy in a University Setting" 
  • 2nd Place: Claire Delplanche, “A Broken Gaze: The Benefits of Surgery in the Treatment of Strabismus"
  • Honorable Mention: Alexia Iwamoto, “A Woman's Greatest Enemy: Fake Pockets"

Creative Nonfiction

  • 1st Place: Harley Taff, "Smoke Trapped In Ivy" 
  • 2nd Place: Phoebe Whittington, "Cinderella Mom" 
  • Honorable Mention: Brian King, “Mistaken”


  • 1st Place: Phoebe Whittington, “Fireweed”
  • 2nd Place: Jenna Cady, "Mello Yello"
  • Honorable Mention: Jacquelyn Tufts, "The Composition of Mist"

Literary Analysis

  • 1st Place: Sophia Backus, "'Are you my mother?': Redefining the Mother in The Handmaid's Tale and Woman on the Edge of Time
  • 2nd Place: Kymberlin Bush, "'The Sweetest Savor': Active Male Penetrators and Societal Anxieties in Arthurian Legend"
  • Honorable Mention: Savannah Olsen, “An Argument for the Use of Reader-Response Criticism in the Interpretation of Fairy Tales"


  • 1st Place: Kelsi Roth, “How Men Loved Me”
  • 2nd Place: Sophia Backus, "You Would Be Wise to Heed My Name”
  • Honorable Mention: Jordelle Marx, “Oscillations”

Many congratulations to this years' winners! We are grateful to Associate Professor Keya Mitra for organizing the competition and publication. And thank you to every student who submitted. The judges, Dr. Pauline Beard and Matthew Minicucci, found the quality of your work exciting and remarkable. Keep writing. Keep sending your work out into the world.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019