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ASU Magazine announces winners of alumni writing contest

March 28, 2011

ASU Magazine, the quarterly magazine of Arizona State University and the ASU Alumni Association, recently announced the winners of its first-ever alumni writing contest.

The contest, open to all graduates of ASU, garnered nearly 200 entries. “Transubstantiation” by Steven Cottam ’08 B.A., ’08 B.A. was the winning entry in the nonfiction category, and “Maomao” by Jian Qin ’95 M.TESL. was the winner in the fiction category. Dana Bos ’97 M.Ed., who wrote “Reef,” was awarded an honorable mention in the nonfiction category.

Excerpts from all three stories appear in the March 2011 issue of ASU Magazine. In addition to the three winners, the top entries in the "Briefly Speaking" category, which challenged entrants to write something significant in 140 characters or less, will be published in the March issue, as well.

The entries submitted reflected the depth of alumni excellence in this area said, Christine K. Wilkinson, president of the ASU Alumni Association.

“We’re pleased that our contest attracted so many talented writers from ASU alumni,” Wilkinson said. “The subject matter on which entrants chose to focus on varied widely, but their finished works were compelling narratives that brought to life a real or imagined time and place, or communicated bedrock values, such as empathy, trust and critical thinking.” 

Judges for the fiction category were Peter Turchi, director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU and Jewell Parker Rhodes, artistic director for Piper Global Engagement at ASU. Nonfiction judges included Bill Konigsberg ’05 M.F.A., a faculty associate with the ASU Writing Programs in the Department of English, and Paul Morris ’75 B.A., director of the Master of Liberal Studies degree program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Briefly Speaking category was judged by Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship and the Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Full versions of the winning entries and additional information on the contest are available on the Alumni Association’s website at