March 26, 2009
By: Astrid Sambolín
If you write funny, entertaining or inspirational work you’d like to share, the Linguistics, Literature and Language Society (L3) invites you to participate in its First Annual Creative Writing Contest. The contest is open to all students of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM). “We hope to give students a venue to publish their work and get serious about writing, getting them excited about contests and such,” explained Adriana Caraballo Madera, Editor-in-Chief of the Literature Sector of L3.
Have a short story you wrote a couple of years back gathering dust in your bookshelf? Wrote a poem in a notebook you used for your pre-calculus class a year ago? It’s all fair game! You should hurry and dig it up, though; the deadline for submissions is April 1, 2009.
The rules are simple: Submissions must consist of original work such as poems, short stories, personal essays, graphic novels, etc. Research papers or other work that requires bibliographies do not qualify. All entries must be submitted as Microsoft Office documents and follow MLA rules. Professors of the English department and L3 officials will select the winner and make the announcement on April 15, 2009.
The winning entry will be featured in L3’s newsletter “Language Connection.” In addition, it will be automatically entered in the First Annual Writing Festival to be held in May, at the Amphitheater (UPRM). The Writing Festival, hosted by L3 with the collaboration of the English Department Student Association (EDSA), will be an opportunity for writers to present their work to a larger audience.
Submissions should be sent via e-mail to any of the following: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
The First Annual Creative Writing Contest is part of an ongoing effort to attract students from different faculties and promote literary pursuits at UPRM. According to L3’s Facebook page , one of the organization’s goals is to “promote and teach the uses and particularities of linguistics, literature, and language throughout the campus and among many other majors besides English.”
L3 officer and English major Heri Albertorio is coordinating the activity. Albertorio explained that the idea for the contest stemmed from the activities other departments host to show students’ work. Biology, chemistry and engineering majors get a chance to showcase their research; why couldn’t English writers have the same chance to present their work? “Being that this is a ‘science heavy’ university, us English majors don’t really get to shine that much. So, this activity is our own way of getting our ideas out there and be appreciated by everyone else,” explained Albertorio.
The festival will provide the opportunity for the participants to show their work as they please. Students get the chance to explore the possibilities and present what they wrote just as it was intended. Of course, the more creative students get, the better the activity will be. A person submitting a poem can wear a costume if he or she chooses. If the entry is a play, the author can narrate while others act out the scenes. As Albertorio excitedly pointed out, “the possibilities are limitless!”
So far, student participation has been low-key. Since this is the first edition of the contest, students are wary and the organization is still learning the ropes. Albertorio remains optimistic, though. “I’m sure as soon as the proper advertisement of the activity is done, more students will mount up the courage to actually participate,” he concluded.
Albertorio plans on submitting some of his own work, a short story he wrote a year ago.
Coordinating an event is bound to bring challenges; an event that is created for the first time must surely face even more obstacles. However, the English Department faculty has proved to be very supportive of the event. Albertorio pointed out that professors are more than willing to help.
L3 is a student organization housed in the English Department. It welcomes students of any faculty, as long as they are passionate about literature and/or linguistics and enjoy working with other students.
As part of its commitment, L3 provides free monthly workshops relating to literature and linguistics, open to students from all majors.