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Writing Contests

  • Gannon Annual Writing Awards Night

    Every year, Gannon University celebrates the Annual Writing Awards Night when students from all three colleges, with majors in mechanical engineering, occupational therapy, history, English, psychology, physician assistant, and others, are recognized for their accomplishments in research writing, journalism, and poetry. We also recognize winners of our national high school poetry contest.

    The newest issue of Totem, Gannon's award-winning literary-art magazine, containing the work of students and faculty from all disciplines, is released during the event.

    As part of the festivities to honor the winners at the Awards Night program, we bring in a well-known poet to give a reading at the evening ceremony and to conduct an afternoon seminar. Over the years we have had the honor of hosting Gwendolyn Brooks, Donald Hall, Galway Kinnell, Ted Kooser, W.D. Snodgrass, Dunya Mikhail, Patricia Smith, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ross Gay, Berwyn Moore, Denise Duhamel, and others. The reading is always free and the community at large is invited. 

    Copies of the Totem, Gannon University's award-winning student-produced literary arts magazine, will be available free of charge. Totem is Gannon University's student-produced literary arts magazine. Totem has the long and consistent tradition of winning top honors for design and content from American Scholastic Press Association.

    For more information about Writing Awards Night or the high school poetry contest, contact Dr. Shreelina Ghosh at ghosh002@gannon.edu

    Gannon Poetry Contests

    Each year, the English Department sponsors a national high school poetry contest and a poetry contest for undergraduate and graduate students of Gannon University. Winners receive a monetary award, a signed book by the distinguished featured poet of Writing Awards Night, and a publication in the Awards program.

    National High School Poetry Contest: Each year, we typically receive 800-1200 poems from all over the country. Read more about this year's contest.

    Gannon Poetry Contest: Students of all graduate and undergraduate programs at Gannon University are welcome submit their poems in Gannon's annual poetry contest. An external poet or poetry scholar is invited to judge the contest. The contest is open to all Gannon students and winners will be awarded cash prizes during the Gannon Writing Awards Night.

    Poems can be emailed to gannonpoetrycontest@gannon.edu.

    Download the Contest Flyer

    Research Writing Award

    Research papers from across several disciplines compete for the Research Writing Awards every year in freshman, undergraduate, and graduate categories. Winners receive cash prizes and certificates. Students can simply submit through the Blackboard group any paper written in the previous calendar year.

    For information, contact Dr. Douglas King

    Journalism Awards

    Students are awarded cash prizes for their submissions in the following categories: News, Features, Op-Ed, Reviews, Sports, and Photography.

    For information, contact Prof. Frank Garland.

  • Gannon Awards Night Featured Poets and Authors

    Past Poets Flyers
    • 1988: Lisel Mueller
    • 1989: William Matthews
    • 1990: Gwendolyn Brooks
    • 1991: Donald Hall
    • 1992: Lucille Clifton
    • 1993: Galway Kinnell
    • 1994: Sharon Olds
    • 1995: W.D. Snodgrass
    • 1996: Kelly Cherry
    • 1997: Michael Harper
    • 1998: A.R. Ammons
    • 1999: Donald Hall
    • 2000: David Citino
    • 2001: Margaret Gibson
    • 2002: Marilyn Nelson
    • 2003: Miller Williams
    • 2004: Adam Zagajewski
    • 2005: Nancy Willard
    • 2006: Rafael Campo
    • 2007: Jerry Wemple
    • 2008: Ted Kooser
    • 2009: Li-Young Lee
    • 2010: Billy Collins
    • 2011: Cornelius Eady
    • 2012: Aimee Nezhukumutathil
    • 2013: George Bilgere
    • 2014: Naomi Shihab Nye
    • 2015: Patricia Smith
    • 2016: Dunya Mikhail
    • 2017: Ross Gay
    • 2018: Berwyn Moore
    • 2019: Denise Duhamel
    • 2020: Allison Joseph
    • 2021: Sherwin Bitsui
    • 2022: Sean Dougherty

    Gannon Writing Contest Winners

    GANNON UNIVERSITY POETRY CONTEST 2022

    First Place:  “Rituals”
      by Jordan Seroka  

    M.S. Program in Physician Assistant

    Second Place:  “Trees"         

    by Kathryn Dickey

    Senior, Social Work major

    Third Place:  “Suspicious Monsoon”

    by Mohammad Arifful Islam

    MBA Program in Business Analytics

    Honorable Mentions: “Trauma Gut”

    by Kathryn Dickey

    Senior, Social Work major

    “Seeking”

    by Sunil Kumar Mahato

    Master of Science Program in Mechanical Engineering

    “The Divide”
     by Jordan Seroka 
    M.S. Program in Physician Assistant

    “God Brought a Beach Towel”

     by Breanna Womble

    Junior, Theatre/Communications major

    NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL POETRY CONTEST 2022

    First place: "Chicken (Lover)"

    by Avantika Singh

    Edgemont Junior-Senior High School

    Scarsdale, NJ

    Second place: "Earth Boy"

    by Marcel Rose,

    Appomattox Regional Governors School

    Petersburg, VA

    Third place: "Sarmale"

    by Dana Serea,

    Rutherford High School

    Rutherford, NJ

    Honorable Mentions: "The First Time"

    by Harrison Jurenko

    School of the Arts

    Rochester, NY

    "in blue blood our love shines bright"

    by Jamie Nguyen

    Homestead High School

    Sunnyvale, CA

    "To the Roads" by Skyler Pulling

    Spence School

    New York, NY

    "Kindergarten (2011)" 

    by Avantika Singh

    Edgemont Junior-Senior High School

    Scarsdale, NJ

    RESEARCH WRITING 2022

    GRADUATE CATEGORY

    First Place (tie): “Glyphosate: Emerging Issues and Human Health Effects”

    by Susannah Harris

    M.S. Environmental Science & Management program

    “Cricket and Predictive Analysis Using Deep Neural Networking”

    by Muhammad Usman

    M.S. Computer and Information Science      

    Second Place: “Occupational Therapy Education in the Foster Care System”

    by Elyse Kay

    Occupational Therapy Doctoral program  

    Third Place: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Policy Process of Re-Inventing American Health Care”

    by Ethan Bennett

    Master of Public Administration program

    UNDERGRADUATE CATEGORY

    First Place: “Examining the Rhetorical Practices of W.I.T.C.H.”                     

    by Madeline Bruce

    Senior, English major                                    

    Second Place: “Food Insecurity in Context”

    by Daniel Baker

    Senior, Social Work and Foreign Language major   

    Third Place (tie): “A Critical Anthology to Accompany Laurie Halse Anderson’s Novel Speak

    by Melissa Carlson (Junior, English/Education, and Theology major) 

    Lia Eberlein (Sophomore, English major)

    Ali Smith (Sophomore, English major)

    Faith Williams (Junior, English/Education major)            

    “The Effects of Anxiety Disorder on the Different Life Aspects of College Students”

    by My Ngo

    Junior, Biology major            

    “Student Homelessness in Pennsylvania”

    by Faith Wilson

    Junior, Social Work major        

    FRESHMAN CATEGORY


    1st Place: “But I Want To: College Students Using First-Person Pronouns”

    by Emily Lynch

    Sophomore, Theatre Design & Technologies major

                        
    2nd Place: “Differences in Academic Performance at the University Level for Single-sex and Coeducated Students”
    by Stephen H. McCallum

    Sophomore, Finance major   

    Third Place: “Heart Attacks in Women”

    by Mia Ambuski

    Sophomore, Chemistry/Pre-Med major

    JOURNALISM CONTEST 2022

    News

    First Place:  “Mauro transitions into president at Alfred State College”

    by Madeline Bruce

    Senior, English major

    Op-Ed

    First Place: “The systemic roots of working an unlovable job”

    by Anna Malesiewski

    Sophomore, Journalism Communication/Digital Media major

    Second Place: “The importance of personal identity”

    by Ali Smith

    Junior, Secondary Education/English major 

    Features

    First Place: “Push to de-gender occurs in Spanish language”

    by Ali Smith

    Junior, Secondary Education/English major 

    Second Place: “Kerr presented service learning award”

    by Anna Malesiewski

    Sophomore, Journalism Communication/Digital Media major

    Reviews

    First Place: “Swift strikes emotional chord in Fans with ‘Red’”

    by Lia Eberlein

    Sophomore, English major

    Second Place: “’Call her Daddy’ masquerades as feminist”

    by Anna Malesiewski

    Sophomore, Journalism Communication/Digital Media major

    Photo

    First Place: I-Hack Building

    by Nadya Makay

    Master of Business Administration graduate student

    Sports

    First Place: “Women’s basketball team wins; men’s team struggles”

    by Tim Corso

    Freshman, Journalism Communication major

    Second Place: “Women, men capture close victories over UPJ”

    by Tim Corso

    Freshman, Journalism Communication major

    Totem Art Award: “Comfort in the Sky”

    by Leah Applebee

    Senior, Psychology major

    Gannon Writing Contest Winners

    GANNON UNIVERSITY POETRY CONTEST 2021

    First Place:  "Metaphors"

    by Petra Shearer 
    Senior, English and Theatre

    Second Place:  "Grounded"

    by Kathryn Dickey 
    Sophomore, Social Work

    Third Place:  "(Un)Conscious"

    by Joshua Taylor 
    Senior, English

    Honorable Mentions:  "Origami"

    By Petra Shearer

    Senior, English and Theatre

    "The Day the Fear Almost Won"

    By Kathryn Dickey

    Sophomore, Social Work

    "You Aren't Shakespeare, Sit Down"

    By Julia "Jem" Neumann

    Freshman, Public Service and Global Affairs and Public Relations

    "Living through a Pandemic"

    By Nicole Clement

    Senior, English/Secondary Education

    NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL POETRY CONTEST 2021

    First place: "Witch's Cottage"

    by Andrea Saiz

    Miami Arts Studio @ Zelda Glazer 6-12

    Miami, FL

    Second place: "Halloween"

    by Elizabeth Newsome

    St. Ursula Academy

    Sylvania, OH

    Third place: "Small Rebellions"

    by Tali Beckwith-Cohen

    School of the Arts

    Rochester, NY

    Honorable Mentions:

    "Metro Hospital"

    By Regina Cassese

    Interlochen Arts Academy

    Springfield, MI

    "we were wade to be poets"

    By Clair Yu

    Hunter College High School

    Astoria, NY

    "Searching"

    By Sarah Fathima Mohammed

    The Harker School

    Los Gatos, CA

    "Does It Matter What You Remember?"

    By Gaia Rayan

    Phillips Academy

    Mason, OH

    BERWYN MOORE MOORE YOUNG ERIE POET 2020

    "A Wave of Words" 

    Tanvi Ugdiri

    Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy

    Erie, PA

     

    RESEARCH WRITING CONTEST 2021

    GRADUATE CATEGORY

     

    First Place: "Perceived Facilitators and Barriers to Supervising OTA Fieldwork Students"

    by Carrie Griffiths

    Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

    Second Place: "Virtual Reality Video Games: User's Immersion, Enjoyment, and Perceived Workload"

    by Kevin Paton

    MBA Program

    Third Place: "Generational Communication Preferences in Occupational Therapy Education and Practice"

    by Courtney Lancia

    Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

    Honorable Mention: "Policy Creation"

    by Janine Ricketts

    Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

    UNDERGRADUATE CATEGORY

    First Place:  "Manipulative or Misunderstood: Gender Stereotyping in Shakespeare's Macbeth"
    by Petra Shearer

    Senior, English and Theatre

    Second Place:  "Archetypal Projections Within Game of Thrones: The Journey of the Hero"
    by Nathan Bly

    Senior English major 

    Third Place:  "Caesar and Augustus: Learning and Succeeding from Past Failures"

    by Ethan Bennett

    Junior History/Secondary Education major 

    Honorable Mention: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Novel and Film Analysis"

    by Brianna Potter

    Sophomore Occupational Therapy major


    FRESHMAN CATEGORY


    First Place: "Water Quality and Its Important Role in the Revitalization of Erie"

    by Natalee Stinebiser

    Sophomore, International Business

                        
    Second Place: "Stem Cells Should be Applied to Today's Medicine"
    by Joshua Pavlovich

    Sophomore, Physician Assistant

    JOURNALISM CONTEST 2021

    News

    First Place: "Students Raise Money for DefIANt Scholarship"

    by Anna Malesiewski

    Freshman, Journalism Communication and Digital Media

    Second Place: "Enrichment Activities Now Available During School Closure "

    by Chloe Forbes

    Senior, Journalism Communication 

    Features

    First Place: "Pandemic impacts deaf community?"                      

    by Ali Smith

    Sophomore, Secondary Education and English                           

    Second Place: "Restorative justice and cannabis "

    by Chloe Forbes

    Senior, Journalism Communication 

    Op-Ed

    First Place: "The role of journalism in a healthy democracy "

    by Madeline Bruce

    Junior, English

    Second Place: "Student reacts to riot near campus "

    by Chloe Forbes

    Senior, Journalism Communication 

    Reviews

    First Place: "Louis Tomlinson Emerges From Hiatus "

    by Madeline Bruce

    Junior, English

    Second Place: "Enrichment Activities Now Available During School Closure "

    by Chloe Forbes

    Senior, Journalism Communication 

    Sports

    First Place: "Men's Water Polo Begins Conference Play 2-0"

    by Alex Pepke

    Senior, Sports Management/Marketing and Marketing

    Second Place: "Women's Basketball Looking to Defend PSAC Title"

    by Alex Pepke

    Senior, Sports Management/Marketing and Marketing