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Undergraduate Writing Symposium: Submissions & Self-Nominations

The Undergraduate Writing Symposium provides an opportunity for Vanderbilt to celebrate the achievements of its undergraduate students.

We welcome students’ self-nominations of argumentative essays, research reports, creative pieces (fiction, poetry, etc.) and other writing projects that can be read aloud. We also encourage multimodal compositions that showcase Vanderbilt students producing pieces that stretch how we define “writing” in our digital age. Any piece completed during the 2018 calendar year is welcome to compete for inclusion in the event.

To nominate your own writing for the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Writing Symposium, please fill out the form below. Each student may nominate and submit up to two of their own papers.

New for First-Year Submissions in Spring 2019: This year all first-year submissions to the symposium will be competing for inclusion in a digital first-year showcase to be featured at the symposium. Following our review process, the authors of the highest scoring submissions will be invited to prepare their pieces for digital publication and to submit a short video of themselves reflecting on the writing of the piece and what they learned. (Guidelines will be provided to finalists.) All pieces included in the digital showcase will also be eligible for prizes in several categories, which will be announced during an awards ceremony at the symposium’s conclusion.

Submission Guidelines

Please note that there is a 3,500 word limit for papers submitted for consideration. Papers longer than 3,500 words will not be considered for inclusion in the Symposium. If selected for presentation, papers will be need to be edited to 7-8 pages of text or 15 minutes of presentation time. (For multimodal works selected, we will work with students to decide the best way to display or share each piece.)

Formatting: Papers must be a Word Document and saved under the student’s name and have all identifying marks (name, class, professor, etc) removed from the paper and the header.

Digital Compositions: See instructions below for submitting multimedia projects. If removing identifiers from such projects proves difficult or impossible, we understand and will adapt our review process accordingly.

Critical Deadlines and Dates (Spring 2019)

  • Friday, January 11: Deadline for Faculty Nominations
  • Friday, January 18: Deadline for Submissions (applies to faculty- and self-nominated works)
  • Sunday, March 31: The Undergraduate Writing Symposium*

(*Please note that you must be available to present in person in order to participate.)

Questions or technical issues?

Please contact Beth Estes, Academic Support Coordinator.