The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE creative writers needed for contest

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

NE Campus students who like to write could win money doing so by entering the English department’s annual competition.

Prizes include $100 for the first-place winner, $75 for the second-place winner, $50 for the third-place winner, and $25 for the fourth-place winner.

All four winners also will be published in next year’s Under the Clock Tower, the NE Campus literary journal.

Rebecca Balcarcel, faculty editor of the publication, is one of the judges for the contest. She teaches composition, literature and creative writing. In her classes, she is offering extra credit to students who enter the contest.

“I took AP writing classes in high school,” said Dawn Capra, a student in Balcarcel’s creative writing class. “I’m a good writer, but I’m no pro. I feel I have an advantage because I’m in the creative writing class.”

Though Capra is optimistic and believes that the class gives her a better chance to win the competition, Ashley Leonard, another student in the class, thinks just the opposite.

“I don’t feel more confident only because in the class, I see other writing styles and I have different ideas,” Leonard said.

Because the entries are anonymous to all the judges, Balcarcel won’t know if she is reading one of her student’s writing until the end of the competition when results are given. 

The deadline for the competition is Nov. 1. After the deadline, three screeners will be chosen. These screeners will then be assigned one genre out of poetry, non-fiction or fiction. They will pick the top half of the entries in their field. Those chosen will then become semi-finalists and be notified of their status in November.

After the semi-finalists have been chosen, five faculty members and two students will judge the remaining works and rank each piece. Judges will select first, second, third and fourth places and some honorable mentions, which will also be considered for publication.

By the end of the semester, applicants should know if their work has been chosen for publication.

After the semester ends, the cash prizes, paid for by the English department, will be awarded to the winners.

“We are always looking for fresh, imagistic writing,” said Balcarcel. “We like stories that open with action or dialogue, use well-developed characters, and leave us with a new insight.”

An entrant must be a NE Campus student, a distance learning student whose professor is based on NE Campus or a dual enrollment high school student whose instructor is based on NE Campus.

To stay anonymous, the manuscripts should be submitted without a name on the document. Each applicant can submit up to two short stories, two essays and four poems.

For more information or to apply, go to Contact Balcarcel at with any questions.  

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