Love may stink sometimes, but writing about it can be sweet.
UM-Flint's Marian E. Wright Writing Center held its 6th annual "Love Stinks" writing contest and unveiled the winners on Valentine's Day.
"Love comes in different forms," said Writing Center tutor Sarah Keyser-Brown, who developed the contest. "It doesn't have to be pigeon-holed to what is traditionally described on Valentine's Day. Over the years, our writers have utilized the universal contest theme and looked at it through different lenses. The works developed and submitted on the concept of 'love' have been interesting and creative."
The winning entries are featured on the Writing Center blog. The contest was open to all students, staff, and faculty. "Dandelion" by Rene Ribant-Amthor was the winning poetry submission. "I Was Culpable" by Carmelle-Arianna Rozanski took home the short story prize.
The Writing Center provides support and space for academic, personal, and creative writing.
This month's competition is just one example of creative writing contests the center holds year-round to provide a platform for writers and to expand the support network for those looking to express themselves. For example, there is a poetry contest in April and a Halloween short story competition in October. There is also a weekly Writers' Circle held noon to 1 p.m. on Fridays for students, faculty, staff, and community members.
"The tutors themselves are great at creating this community by coming up with contests and other writing-centered activities to promote fun and interest in all forms of writing, which helps everyone feel more comfortable with their work," said Vicky Dawson, academic support services coordinator at the center. "It's a wonderful outlet for our campus community to have creative writing opportunities."
A psychology student and avid creative writer, Rozanski has taken classes on campus but is currently studying online. The competition provided her another way to connect with the university environment, she said. Her short story delves into the imperfection of love and explores issues of personal responsibility and hope.
"Part of growing, regardless of the discipline you are studying, is being willing to be vulnerable and express yourself," said Rozanski. "Being able to submit something for these competitions can help one grow as a writer and as a person."