Who can enter?
Freshmen who are enrolled in the College of Engineering and have satisfied up to 32 credits of coursework (not including AP credits) are eligible to enter the Steuber Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing. (Upperclassmen should enter the main Steuber Prize.)
We strongly encourage first-year students, even if they have sophomore status because of AP credits, to enter the Steuber Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing for a couple of reasons.
First, this contest, with its three clearly defined categories of writing, has been especially developed for freshmen. It has a judging panel whose expectations are more appropriate for students in their initial year of college coursework.
Second, the contest is restricted only to freshmen–that is, as noted above, students who have completed up to 32 credits of coursework (not including AP credits). Those who enter have better odds of success since their entry is competing against entries from others in their first year of college coursework rather than against entries from sophomores, juniors, and fourth- and fifth-year seniors.
What should I submit?
Entries may be on any topic that fits the competition’s categories, but the paper you submit must be 2500 words or less. Please submit four copies, all double-spaced. Include a copy of the entry form, downloadable here or available from the Technical Communication Program, M1050 Engineering Centers Building.
What are the categories and how are they designated?
After your title, indicate in square brackets—[R], [A], or [C]—which category you are entering, as described below:
- [R] for reflective non-fictional, non-technical, insightful writing (for instance, about engineering as a career, your interest in a particular engineering discipline or design; about your experience in college thus far; about a life-changing experience; about a travel or cultural experience that has changed your perspective)
- [A] for academic/non-fictional/technical writing (an informative, persuasive, or expressive paper or report)
- [C] for creative writing (a work of your imagination—poetry, fiction, drama, etc.)
When is the deadline to enter?
Entries must be received by noon on February 28, 2017. (The 2016 Competition has closed.)
Where do I submit my entries?
Submit your materials to the Technical Communication Program, M1050 Engineering Centers Building. If the door to the office is locked, then please place your materials in the mailbox marked “Steuber” on the first floor of ECB, near the University Avenue entrance. (Please do not slip your materials under the office door, as they can be easily lost that way.)
I’m a little nervous about entering. Got any tips for me?
Yes! Check out our writing tips.