First Year Connections introduces first writing contest


First-year students can now try their hand in Sheridan’s first writing contest.

Organized by First Year Connections (FYC), the contest allows students to show off their creative side through a fictional or non-fictional poem, short story or full-length story that highlights their experience at Sheridan.

“It requires them to engage and evaluate their experience at Sheridan in a creative manner,” said Kelly Skidmore, a FYC peer mentor and third-year Exercise Science and Health Promotion student.
“To write a biography about what you have done during your first couple months is easy, but to approach what you’ve accomplished in a creative way inspires students to think outside the box,” she said in an email.

The contest runs until Feb. 21.

The winner of each submission category will receive a $100 creative scholarship and $200 gift card to the Sheridan bookstore.

Princess Peddie, a first-year Performing Arts Preparation student with a passion for writing, is excited for a chance to showcase her work.
“It’s a great opportunity to show off my artistic side,” she said.
“We use words daily without real meaning or understanding. When I write, it’s a freeing way to create your own world, tell a story or simply express (yourself). I’d like to get more involved.”

Peddie plans on using this chance to continue the science-fiction book she started a while ago.
“I’m participating in hopes that I’ll rekindle an inspiration for writing once more and maybe I’ll get to finishing that book,” she said.

“It would also be nice to have my work shown on a bigger scale and hopefully draw in some more constructive criticism.”

Skidmore came up with the overall idea for the writing contest, with the help of the other mentors and supervisors from Student Advisement.
The contest was initially supposed to begin in November to coincide with National Novel Writing Month, but was postponed until the new year to allow for better marketing, Skidmore said.

“We have a very strict budget on what we can apply to events, but to run this contest properly and use it as a scholarship we had to find additional support elsewhere.”
Lisa Piccolo, the vice-president of advancement and external relations at Sheridan, helped the group.

“Through their assistance and direction we were able to find financial support for the contest,” said Skidmore.

Sheridan’s financial services provided FYC with three gift cards to the bookstore, and Robin Obuhowich, the awards specialist at the Davis Campus, allowed them to design a scholarship application that could be put on the Sheridan website.

A committee of FYC peer mentors, supervisors, awards specialists and managers from each campus will judge the entries, noted Skidmore.

“We are looking for creativity primarily. We want to see evidence of originality and personalization while showing technical proficiency in writing skills, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.,” said Skidmore.

The submissions must also meet the criteria: 1,000 to 1,200 words for a short story, 2,000 to 2,200 words for a full-length story, and any length for a poem.

“We left the option open for students to submit a fictional or non-fiction based written piece, but it still must be considered creative writing.”

Participants can choose to email their piece to their FYC peer mentor or drop off a hard copy at room B230 at Davis, B104 at Trafalgar or the welcome desk at HMC between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Princess Peddie, a first-year Performing Arts Preparation student, prepares for the writing contest

Princess Peddie, a first-year Performing Arts Preparation student, prepares for the writing contest