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Charles Moran Best Text Contest

This award honors Charles Moran, the founding director of the Writing Program, serving in that capacity from 1982 to 1990.  He created the program around may of the principles that guide it still today. He was particularly dedicated to students’ writing being the primary text of a writing course and ensuring that students have an audience beyond just the teacher. To that end, he firmly believed in publishing and celebrating outstanding student work, as we do with the Student Writing Anthology and these Best Text Awards in his name. All students enrolled in University of Massachusetts Amherst Basic, College, and Junior Year Writing courses, fall or spring semester, are eligible to submit an essay to that year’s Charles Moran Best Text Contest. Winners are announced at our annual Celebration of Writing Ceremony.  Prizes for both Basic and College Writing are as follows:

  • First Place Essay: $200;
  • Second Place Essay: $150;
  • Third Place Essay: $75; and
  • Best Non-Traditional Essay (Multimedia/Visual Text): $200.

Prizes for Junior Year Writing are as follows:

  • Best Short Text (up to 5 pages): $200;
  • Best Long Text (6 pages and above): $200; and
  • Best Multimedia/Non-traditional Format: $200.

Essays must have been written for an assignment in Basic Writing, College Writing, or a Junior Year Writing course.  A panel of judges looks for excellent writing that reflects the goals of the course the student is enrolled in.  All submissions from Spring 2017 will be due May 11, 2017; submissions from Fall 2017 will be due December 21, 2017. Winners will be announced early Spring 2018.

To submit: Please email a clean, revised copy of your essay in a word file to wpbesttext@acad.umass.edu along with a cover sheet that includes the following information:

  • Title of submission
  • Your full name
  • Contact Information (email, phone & local mailing address)
  • Course title/section number
  • Instructor’s name
  • Semester course taken
  • Description of assignment for this particular piece.

For non-traditional submissions either email the piece or provide the link to the piece with a cover sheet to wpbesttext@acad.umass.edu. For pieces that cannot be easily put in electronic form, please bring with cover sheet to the Writing Program main office, Du Bois 1323.

If you have any questions as to how to submit your piece, please contact Heidi Terault at hterault@acad.umass.edu or Peggy Woods at pmwoods@acad.umass.edu.