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Writing Excellence Awards

The Writing Excellence Awards is seeking outstanding essays, projects, and compositions written for OU Writing and Rhetoric courses. The awards are open to all undergraduate students at Oakland University who have composed work for WRT courses taken during winter, summer, and fall.

Submissions and applications will be judged by faculty in the Writing and Rhetoric Department. One winner will be selected in each category. Each winner will receive $200 and a Writing Excellence Awards book, where all of the winning work will be published or linked to.

Submissions for all categories are due by January 10, 2024. The Writing Excellence Awards reception will be held in the spring of 2024.

To read about winners from past years, please access the information below. 

Creative Nonfiction Contest Winners

First-Year Writing Analytical Essay -- Outstanding analysis essay written for WRT 1020, 1050, or 1060. Submissions might include a personal narrative, OU investigation project, career investigation project, or rhetorical analysis paper.

Submit a First-Year Writing Analytical Essay here for the 2024 awards

WRT 1060 Research Essay -- Outstanding research essay written for WRT 1060 that focuses on developing knowledge, synthesizing secondary (and possibly primary) sources effectively, and documenting appropriately in APA format. Professors, please nominate 1-2 students from your class, and ask them to submit their essay. 

Submit a WRT 1060 Research Essay here for the 2024 awards

Upper-Level Analytical or Research Essay -- Outstanding essay written for any upper-division Writing and Rhetoric course (at the 2000-level or above). Submissions should have a clear purpose within Writing and Rhetorical studies, synthesize and document secondary (and possibly primary) sources effectively, and demonstrate appropriate and clear uses of language for specific audiences. 

Submit an Upper-Level Analytical or Research Essay here for the 2024 awards

Professional Writing -- Outstanding writing for any upper-division professional, technical, or business Writing and Rhetoric course. Projects may include proposals, analytical reports, brochures, job application materials, fundraising documents, or other compositions written for professional audiences.

Submit a piece of Professional Writing here for the 2024 awards

Digital Media Composition -- Outstanding digital media composition project composed for any course in Writing and Rhetoric. Projects could include videos, visual presentations, audio essays, podcast episodes, photo essays, webtexts, or other kinds of digital media writing. Projects submitted in the digital media category should use multiple modes of expression to communicate (such as words, visuals, audio, and/or video). 

Submit a Digital Media Composition here for the 2024 awards

Writer's Growth Award -- This award will be given to one student in a WRT 1020: Basic Writing course who has demonstrated significant growth in writing and composition across the semester. Professors should nominate one student per class and nominated students should submit their OU Community-based essay or project (early drafts and final copy). If you are interested in being nominated for the Writer's Growth Award, please contact your professor from WRT 1020.

Submit an OU Community-based essay or project from WRT 1020 here for the 2024 awards

Creative Nonfiction -- Outstanding creative nonfiction essays written for WRT 3086 or 4086. Submissions might be personal narrative, travel writing, place-based essay, profile, object meditation, lyric essay, braided essay, or other work of creative nonfiction. 

Submit a Creative Nonfiction Essay here for the 2024 awards.

The 2024 Writing Excellence Awards Dessert Reception will be held in spring 2024, with details to come. 

Award winners and their guests, faculty in Writing and Rhetoric, and OU administrators are invited to attend the reception to celebrate the winners and hear more about their work.

Please contact the Writing and Rhetoric department ([email protected]) for information about past winners. 

Department of Writing and Rhetoric

O'Dowd Hall, Room 378
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2746
fax: (248) 370-2748