Department of English Announces Winners of 2020 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 2020 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: Samantha Rapoza, "Danger in Paradise: The Hawaiʻi of Western Imaginings"
  • 2nd Place: Zoe Stanek, "Science Fiction: The Rise of the Other?"
  • Honorable Mention: May Murakami-Smith, "The Nail That Sticks Out: The Exclusion of Mixed Race Children in Japan"

Creative Nonfiction

  • 1st Place: Maxwell Lien, "Nostos Algos"
  • 2nd Place: Phoebe Whittington, "Aristotelian: Is Your Life Tragic? Or Are You in Your 20s and Need to Calm Down?" 
  • Honorable Mention: Margaret McFarlane, "Over the Rainbow"


  • 1st Place: Jacqueline Tufts, "A Haze the Color of Rust"
  • 2nd Place: Zoe Stanek, "Little Witches"
  • Honorable Mention: Margaret McFarlane, "Full of Grace"

Literary Scholarship

  • 1st Place: Savannah Olsen, "Mirror Image: The Portrait as Object"
  • 2nd Place: Cal McCarthy, "Beauty in Bitterness: Shifted Connotation and Characterization in Much Ado About Nothing"
  • Honorable Mention: Phoebe Whittington, "Bye-bye Birdie: Ecodidacticism and Augury in Macbeth and The Seagull"


  • 1st Place: Jaye Adams, "Coming of Age"
  • 2nd Place: Maxwell Lien, "When the Sun Burns Out"
  • Honorable Mention: Tash Stuart-Shuman, "3am Panic Attack"

Many thanks to Professor Kathlene Postma for organizing. Congratulations to this years' winners! 

Friday, March 13, 2020