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Undergraduate Writing Symposium: Submissions and Self-Nominations

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

In Spring 2022, the Undergraduate Writing Symposium will feature the works of both first-year writers and those working on advanced research projects. Use the navigation below to learn more about the submission process for each type of submission, and fill out the submission form when you are ready.

Call for First-Year Essay Submissions

First-year authors’ academic essay submissions written during the Fall 2021 semseter will be considered for the Undergraduate Writing Symposium on Thursday, March 31, which will feature the exceptional work of first-year authors as well as the research writing of more advanced undergraduate authors.

To nominate your academic essays or to submit a piece nominated by an instructor, please first consultant the First-Year Submission Guidelines below and then fill out the 2022 Undergraduate Writing Symposium Form.

Looking to submit creative writing? Please a consider submitting your piece to the Undergraduate Creative Writing Symposium, to be held on Thursday, April 7.

First-Year Submission Guidelines

Eligibility

First-year writing completed during the Fall 2021 semester is welcome to compete for inclusion in the event.

The Submission / Self-Nomination Process

Please be aware that our submission / self-nomination process will ask for two short pieces of writing to accompany the piece of writing to be considered:

  1. A brief description of the writing project to be used in the online symposium program
  2. A short reflection on their piece itself and the ways in which they see the piece and the process of writing it as a meaningful writing and learning experience.

Simultaneous Consideration for Inclusion in a Digital Collection of First-Year Writing

This year, all first-year submissions being considered for inclusion the symposium event will also once again be competing for inclusion in Scaffold: A Showcase of Vanderbilt First-Year Writing a digital collection begun in Spring 2019 as an extension of 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 or audio reflection 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.

Word Limit

Please note that there is a 3,500 word limit for first-year papers submitted for consideration. Pieces 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

Submission files should be Word Documents (.docx preferred). Please include your name in the file name, while removing all identifying marks (name, class, professor, etc) from the document and the header.

Digital Compositions Welcome

The submission form includes instructions for submitting writing project with multimedia components. (If removing identifiers from such projects proves difficult or impossible, we understand and will adapt our review process accordingly.)

One Entry per Student Maximum

Each student may submit only one first-year essay, which includes both faculty-nominated and self-nominated pieces. However, students who submit a first-year essay are also eligible to submit a piece to the Undergraduate Creative Writing Symposium.

To nominate your writing or to submit a piece nominated by an instructor, please fill out the Undergraduate Writing Symposium Submission Form (coming soon).

Call for Advanced Research Writing Submissions

All undergraduates working on advanced research projects are welcome to apply for a spot in the Undergraduate Writing Symposium, which will be held on Thursday, March 31Honors thesesindependent research projects, and other advanced work including Immersion projects and pieces submitted or being prepared for publication will all be considered and may be completed or still in progress during the 2021-2022 academic year.

To nominate your writing or to submit a piece nominated by an instructor, please fill out the 2022 Undergraduate Writing Symposium Submission Form.

Advance Project Submission Guidelines

The Submission / Self-Nomination Process

Please be aware that our submission / self-nomination process will ask for three short pieces of writing to accompany the project to be considered for inclusion:

  1. A 250-word abstract of the advanced project
  2. A brief description of the writing project (to be used in the online symposium program)
  3. A short reflection addressing the current state of the project, progress expected before the event, and what the author has learned about their topic and/or writing process thus far and how they see the project as fitting into their undergraduate education and experience.

Following our review process, select authors will be invited to join our Advanced Research section to discuss their work and writing process alongside other participants.

Advanced writing projects completed or currently in-progress are welcome to compete for inclusion in the event.

Abstract Word Limit

Please note that there is a 250 word limit for advanced research abstracts submitted for consideration.

Formatting

Submission files should be Word Documents (.docx preferred). Please include your name in the file name, while removing all identifying marks (name, class, professor, etc) from the document and the header.

Digital Compositions Welcome

The submission form includes instructions for submitting writing project with multimedia components. (If removing identifiers from such projects proves difficult or impossible, we understand and will adapt our review process accordingly.)

One Entry per Student Maximum

Each student may submit only one advanced research writing project, which includes both faculty-nominated and self-nominated pieces. However, students who submit a advanced research writing project are also eligible to submit a piece to the Undergraduate Creative Writing Symposium.

To nominate your writing or to submit a piece nominated by an instructor, please fill out the Undergraduate Writing Symposium Submission Form (coming soon).

Critical Deadlines and Dates (Spring 2022)

  • Friday, January 21: Deadline for Faculty Nominations
  • Wednesday, January 26 (noon): Deadline for Submissions (applies to faculty- and self-nominated works)
  • Thursday, March 31: 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.