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Western Voices 2013

Essays from the Bruce H. Leland Essay Contest

These student essays are the winning essays from the 2012 Bruce H. Leland Essay Contest. We are excited to continue the tradition of showcasing the work of our student writers who are the heart of our writing program. 

All students in writing courses in the Western Writing Program are eligible to enter the Leland Essay Contest. First, second, and third place prizes are awarded for each course: English 100 for developing writers, English 180 for first-year students, and English 280 for sophomores. A panel of volunteer judges who teach these courses selects the winning essays.

Special thanks go to the dedicated and talented students at Western Illinois University who submitted the fruits of their labor to this contest as well as to the instructors who spend countless hours encouraging, supporting, and inspiring our students. Your commitment to excellence is visible in these pages. Thanks also go to the judges who volunteered their time and expertise and to Barbara Ashwood who worked tirelessly to coordinate the contest this year.

Finally, thanks to the Department of English and Journalism’s Writing Committee—chair Christy Wherley, Barbara Ashwood, Neil Baird, Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt, Barbara Harroun, and Bill Knox—who all pitched in to help with editing these excellent essays.

--Magdelyn Hammond Helwig, Director, Western Writing Program

Judges:

 Neil Baird, Jose Fernandez, Barbara Harroun, Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt, Bill Knox, Brenda Porter, Penny Rigg, Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan, and Christy Wherley