Celebrating excellent first-year writing at Hobart and William Smith, the Writing Colleagues Program and Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) presented the fifth annual First-Year Writing Prize in the Blackwell Room this spring. The event honored all nominees and the two Prize recipients – Kevin Lin ’20 and Bartholomew Lahiff ’20.
“First-year writing is a real strength of the HWS experience. We have all dedicated a lot of time to building a strong FSEM program and students produce fantastic writing projects in those classes, as well as other introductory courses,” says Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Hannah Dickinson, Director of the Writing Colleagues Program and one of the organizers of the writing competition. “It’s important to have a space to celebrate all of that good work!”
“It is reassuring that our Colleges stand in defense of high standards for serious academic work and place such a high value on developing the necessary frame of analysis. HWS provides an array of resources for writing in the college sphere,” says Lahiff ’20, whose winning essay “No [Wealthy White] Child Left Behind” used his experience to critique modern education policies and offer policy revisions. On campus, Lahiff is a member of the HWS Debate Team and a newly accepted Writing Colleague.
“There was immense value in hearing advice from other people and their experiences and seeing how you fit into it as a writer,” says Lin ’20 on the value of the First-Year Writing Prize contest. Lin’s essay “Cat Calling” reflected on the existence of male privilege and offered a feminist critique to the contemporary discourses of gender. A newly accepted Writing Colleague, Lin is a member of the Asian Student Union and Sanfoka.
Established in 2013, the First-Year Writing Prize invites professors to nominate first-year students’ essays, ranging from analysis to research driven writing to non-traditional texts. Nominated students are encouraged to meet with Writing Fellows, Writing Colleagues and other members of the HWS community to both support them in the revision process and to introduce them to the strong community of writers on campus.