Winners of the first Montclair Book Essay contest were officially announced on April 23 by the Center for Writing Excellence (CWE), the sponsor of the contest.
Open to all undergraduate students, the contest was offered as part of the year-long activities surrounding Montclair Book 2011, the non-fiction travelogue, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. The book was last year’s inaugural common reading experience for first-year students.
The winning prize of $100 was awarded to first-year student Lillian Blanco for her essay, “Map the Atlas of my Brain: Geography of Bliss.” Three second-place winners were awarded $25 each: Anton I. Botha, “The Geography of Bliss…;” Chynna DeStefano, “Anywhere They’d Rather Not Be;” and Sandra C. Medina, “The Utopian Places of My Life.”
The contest rules asked students to write about meaningful places in their lives and to describe three locations from their own “geography of bliss.”
CWE’s consultants commented that they faced “a difficult task” in choosing the winning entries from the 30 submissions. “Students’ participation in the essay contest contributed to the diverse spectrum of student voices and writing that we value so highly in the CWE and at Montclair State University,” said Melinda Knight, professor of English and CWE director.
An honorable mention certificate was awarded to five other essays that qualified for the final round, and a letter of recognition was presented to all other students who submitted entries.
A celebration honoring the winners and participants was held on May 2, 2012 at the Center’s offices on the first floor of Sprague Library.
The Center for Writing Excellence is available to all University students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Sessions with experienced writing consultants are designed to provide help on every aspect of the writing process.