Literary Contest Winners

51st Bryan College Literary Contest
The Bryan College English Department is proud to announce the finalists and winners for this year’s literary contest. Despite the challenges we’ve faced due to COVID-19, the contest went forward with many strong entries in each category. Depending upon the number and quality of entries in each category, we have determined a short list of finalists from which we selected a single winner. Entries were judged on creativity, craft, and effectiveness in conveying meaning through language. Congratulations to our finalists and winners, and thanks to all who submitted!
Creative Nonfiction
Winner: "Chacos" - Schuler Wetzig

 

Author's note: This piece was inspired by this really old pair of Chacos I have.  They’ve accumulated cracks, stains, and tears over the years that have given them character and life.  This past summer, someone asked me where my Chacos had been – definitely the coolest question I’ve ever been asked.  The question got me thinking that if someone could see the stories written all over my shoes, why shouldn’t I be just as excited to share the stories written on my heart?  Too often, we try to cover up those stories, but I wonder what life would be like if we went around delighted to answer the question, “Where has your heart been?”

Finalist: "The Real Reason I Write" - Grace McCready

 

Author's note: I actually wrote this piece for my blog several months ago. Writing it was a way for me to express how I felt about writing and to remind myself that I am worth more than my hobbies or my accomplishments. Even though I do hope to get a book deal, I still want the message to be clear that we are more than what we do.

Drama
"Passion in the Night" - Jake Love

 

Author's note: I started writing this piece just for pleasure, and while I was writing it I got to look at the themes of love and masculinity, as the main character tries to understand and reconcile the two, and also tries to understand the meaning of the word 'passion' and determine whether it even exists at all.

Formal Essay
Winner: “The Language of Narnia’s and Its First King” - Morgan Schaffer

Author's note: When given the assignment to write about an interesting passage linguistically for the History and Nature of the English Language, one that immediately stuck out to me was the scene in The Magician's Nephew when the future King Frank has just arrived in Narnia for the first time. With his Cockney dialect and already-noble bearing, Frank's speech was truly enjoyable to analyze.

Poetry
Winner: "The Wolf" - Jake Love

 

Author's note:  I started writing this piece just for pleasure, and while I was writing it I got to look at the themes of love and masculinity, as the main character tries to understand and reconcile the two, and also tries to understand the meaning of the word 'passion' and determine whether it even exists at all.

Finalist: “Goodbye” - Sarah Hedrick

 

Author's note: “Goodbye” is a poem that was inspired by a scene that I wrote in a book series that I’m working on. It’s about how one of my main characters named Hazina has been heartbroken by one of her best friends. She feels that since he doesn’t seem to care about her, she thinks the best thing for her to do is to leave him.

Finalist: “Breaking the Fourth Wall” - Savannah Hendrich

 

Author's note: This poem was written after hearing about "the fourth wall" of acting in our literature class. It made me think about how easy and common it is to pass by each other without making real connections--we put up walls. Instead, Jesus calls us to a deep love for one another. That reality made me desire to break the fourth wall with people I met every day.

Finalist: “I am not…” - Makenna Manire

 

Author's note: I do not really write poems so I was surprised to find this poem buried deep in my google docs. I wrote this poem during the second semester of my Freshman year of college here at Bryan. During that time, I had been experiencing a lot of letdowns and rejections and this poem was my way to process all of it.

Finalist: “The Escape” - Grace McCready

 

Author's note: This may seem like a poem about salvation, but it can actually apply to so much more. When we live in our sins, as Christians or not, we can't stay there. No matter how comfortable our sins are or how lost we feel when we give them up, Jesus calls us to a place that is a truly safe home.

Short Fiction
Winner: “The Quest” - Savannah Hendrich

 

Author's note: "This story was inspired by Psalm 63, where David tells God that his "soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1). I wanted to mirror the physical thirst of dehydration to highlight the extreme level of longing David had to be satisfied by God. God's love is so personal and kind. Jesus offers us the peace our souls' all desire."

Finalist: “Face to Face with the Angel of Death” - Sarah Hedrick

 

Author's note: Ten-year-old Emily Angeli was never a big fan of wrestling. So when she runs into the seven-foot tall wrestler named “The Angel of Death,” she’s absolutely terrified of him. When she meets him for the first time, she immediately thinks that he’s mad at her and wants to hurt her. Is “The Angel of Death” really as mean and scary as he appears, or is there more to him than meets the eye?

Finalist: “The Same Song” - Mathäus Schwarzen

 

Author's note:  “The Same Song” began as an attempt to imitate the style of one of my favorite authors, Ernest Hemingway, and eventually took on a life of its own. I wrote it in one quick burst on a rainy night, and had to scramble to catch up on homework the next day.