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Our Students' Writing

Celebration of Writing Ceremony

The 2017 Celebration of Writing Ceremony will be held (date TBA). The Celebration is the Writing Program's showcase of undergraduate student writing. It's our chance to honor the work done in First Year Writing (Englwrit 111, 112, and 112H) and Junior Year Writing. We recognize those student writers whose essays have been selected for the annual Student Writing Anthology and the winners of our Charles Moran Best Text Contest. We also honor the student tutors who work in the University Writing Center.

For information about the Writing Program's annual Charles Moran Best Text Contest, click here.

Student Writing Anthology

The Writing Program's annual Student Writing Anthology, a required text in all First Year Writing courses here, celebrates the accomplishments of students enrolled in Basic Writing, College Writing, and Junior Year Writing courses at UMass Amherst. Published yearly, it rewards our student authors with public recognition and an opportunity to have their voices heard beyond the walls of the classroom. Anthologized essays take a variety of forms: some explore and interpret the meaning of personal experience; others reflect on social, cultural, and historical issues; many prove that careful research and close reading not only provide data and expert opinion in support of a claim but result in new and revealing perspectives on the world.

Essays included in the Student Writing Anthology are all nominated by teachers. If you're a teacher of First Year or Junior Year Writing at UMass Amherst and interested in submitting one or more student essays for possible inclusion in theAnthology, please send an email to with the name of the student, her email address and the name of the assignment for which the essay was written. We will contact the student to ask for an electronic version of the essay as well as an Anthology Submission form.

The current edition of the Anthology, 2016-2017, is published by Hayden-McNeil (ISBN 9780738084374) and is for sale on Amazon.

Previous editions of the Anthology are available below as PDF downloads. By putting these publications on the Web, we hope to broaden our students' readership and inspire both teachers and students to aim high and explore a variety of approaches to academic discourse. We invite readers to enjoy these essays and what they can teach us about the choices writers make in terms of organization, development, and style.

Student Writing Anthology, 2010-11 (PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2009-10 (PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2008-09 (PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2011-2012 (PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2012-2013 (PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2013-2014(PDF)
Student Writing Anthology, 2014-2015(PDF)

Best Text Contest

A highlight of our Celebration of Writing Ceremony is the announcement of the Charles Moran Best Text Contest winners.  All students enrolled in first- and junior-year writing courses at UMass Amherst, fall or spring semester, are eligible to submit an essay to that year's contest.  Awards are given in the following categories:

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 2016 will be due Friday, May 6; submissions from Fall 2016 will be due Friday, December 23, 2016. Winners will be announced early spring of 2017.

For more information about submitting a text from Basic or College Writing (Englwrit 111/112/112H), click here.

For more information about submitting a text from a Junior Year Writing course, click here.

You can also call the Writing Program office at 545-0610 or email us.

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