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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 16, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence
 

Common Reading Program

We are incredibly pleased to announce the winners of the Common Reading Program Writing Contest. They are:

  • First place: Janet Kwon - "What's the Limit?"

The jury admired this piece for its intense but accessible focus on the topic, and its skillful use of narrative voice. The writer has captured a sense of urgency and allows the reader into the moment-by-moment drama of an anxiety-ridden drive to safety. The tension of the first part of the piece is matched by the switch of tone in the second part, when the speaker merges the joyful defiance of escape with the physical extremities of the drive. The jury liked the way that the theme of the contest - coping while alone - was the subtle but undeniable thread that ran beneath this text. font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">

  • Second place: Marissa Evans - "Weighting for Air"
  • "Weighting for Air" is a creative entry which effectively expresses the anxieties students feel when they are away from their families for the first time and the ways in which students can deal with these anxieties. Specifically, the jury liked that the author shows the emotions that the speaker feels without explicitly stating the speaker's feelings. For example, the way in which the author describes the periods of the speaker's sentences as aligning with his/her breathing allows the reader to understand the calm that the speaker experiences when s/he writes.

  • Third place: Patrick Enright - "Enduring the Abyss: A Guide to Surviving a Motherless, Brotherless, and Potentially Meaningless Existence"
  • Unlike other submissions to the contest, the writer of "Enduring the Abyss: A Guide to Surviving a Motherless, Brotherless, and Potentially Meaningless Existence" employs an innovative approach by using the composition format of a letter. The jury was appreciative of the writer's confident, witty, and instructive tone. As the writer embraces refreshing humorous techniques to explicitly cope with the melancholy of being without family, readers will experience an intense juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy.

Honourable mentions are given to:

  • Aamna Qureshi - "The Great Escape"
  • Scott Cooke - "Closing the Distance through Memories"

The CRP Writing Contest was judged by a jury of one faculty member, one staff member, and one student. Names and identifying information were removed from all entries so judges had no knowledge of each entry's authorship. 

All students and members of the Laurier community are invited to a short ceremony acknowledging the winners and entrants of the inaugural Common Reading Program Writing Contest. Details of the event are as follows:

  • Friday November 15 at 1:00pm
  • Laurier Library (main floor, near the fireplace)
  • Winning entries will be available for reading.
  • Refreshments will be served.

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Laurierís Common Reading Program invited all students entering the Faculty of Arts in September 2013 to share the experience of reading Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese. Each student received a free copy of the book in the summer and had a chance to discuss the book with their peers, and were invited to participate in orientation events focused on the book.

We hope in future years to extend the program to include all incoming students at Laurier.