On-Campus Event

McKinney Committee hosts 82nd annual writing contest

This past Wednesday, the McKinney Committee hosted its 82nd annual awards ceremony to honor the winners of their student writing contest in the EMPAC Concert Hall. Prizes were awarded in five categories—Poetry, Creative Prose & Drama, Academic Essay, Electronic Media Arts Using Language, and Language and Empowerment—for undergraduate and graduate students. Here are this year’s winners.

Undergraduate Poetry: Phoebe Demers ’23, “Birthright”

Graduate Poetry: Nathan Smith, “Spicy Food”

Undergraduate Creative Prose & Drama: Anjali Shinde ’23, “Two Shards of the Rearview Mirror”

Graduate Creative Prose & Drama: Maggie Mang, “On the impossibility of purity in compromised spaces; or, how would one react upon slaughtering chickens”

Undergraduate Academic Essay: Vixey Foxwish Douglas ’26G, “North American Red Fox Rabies Immunity Gene Drive for Safer (Sub)Urban Rewilding”

Graduate Academic Essay: Chris Althoff, “Thank you for the Content”

Undergraduate Electronic Media Arts Using Language: Emma Abercrombie ’25, “Embodied”

Language and Empowerment: Nyah Philip ’24, “How to Crack a Breastbone” (and other poems)

Afterward, guest speaker Gish Jen read a passage from her most recent work, Thank You, Mr. Nixon. She chose to read from one of the 11 stories in the book, “Rothko, Rothko,” which follows the negotiations between a writer and a painter who specializes in abstract forgery. Once she finished reading, Jen fielded questions about her opinions of ChatGPT, how to find an agent as an aspiring author, the political tension between the United States and China, and the importance of authenticity and finding your own voice, among many others.

Like as Jen did when she took the stage, The Polytechnic congratulates the winners and everyone that submitted to the McKinney Student Writing Contest.

Click here to see the full list of award winners and a short description of each recognized work.