Each spring, the Department of Writing sponsors its writing contest. Categories include first-year essay, poetry, hybrid, short story, personal essay, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, feature/magazine, and humor/satire. Winners and runners-up read from their prize-winning work during an annual awards ceremony. They are also awarded a gift certificate for use at Buffalo Street Books.
The contest coordinator ensures that the highest ethical practices are adhered to in judging student work. Submissions are designated an identification number and stripped of the author’s name before they are forwarded to judges. Each category is judged by, at least, two Ithaca College faculty members. In the event that a judge recognizes a student’s work, that judge must notify the coordinator of a conflict of interest, so that it may be addressed in a manner that upholds the high ethics of the contest itself. When the winners are announced, the mechanics of the judging process can be made available. At this time, winning submissions are not published. Students retain First North American Serial Rights so that they may, for example, publish their work elsewhere.