Dogwoods in bloom on campus

Exemplary Essay Awards

What are the Exemplary Essay Awards?

The Exemplary Essay Awards are a way for us to celebrate WRIT 105 and 106 students who are writing sophisticated pieces of prose, and a way for students to continue their work beyond their portfolios. There is one $100 Red Hawk Dollars award available for each category: WRIT 105 and WRIT 106. The winning essays are published, here, on the First-Year Writing website.

2023 Winners

WRIT 105
Winner: “The Busta Cake Mistake,” by Johnathan Smith
Honorable Mention: “Toxic Relationships in the Media: The Bad and the Ugly,” by Malak Bayoumy
Honorable Mention: “The War on Drag,” by Jessica Sconfienza

WRIT 106
Winner: “The Not-So-Authentic Native American Experience,” by Kelly Naspo, WRIT 106 Winner
Honorable Mention: “Power Dynamics of Sex Work in ‘The Company of Wolves,'” by Anonymous
Honorable Mention: “Disenfranchised Grief: Exploring the Complexities of Hidden Sorrow,” by Annabelle Kempf

2022 Winners

WRIT 105: “Creating and Coping: How Art Therapy Can Improve Mental Health,” WRIT 105
Sabrina Whikehart is in her freshman year at Montclair State University. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Film.

Read Sabrina Whikehart’s Winning Essay

WRIT 106: “A Bad Case of Intolerance”
I am a queer writer in my sophomore year at Montclair State University, originally from Clifton, New Jersey. I study Medical Humanities, and when I’m not plotting against corrupt healthcare institutions, I enjoy writing narrative-heavy music and crying over Adam Silvera novels.

Read Gianna Capone’s Winning Essay