The Center for Community Writing provides a number of opportunities for writers of all ages, including various writing contests held throughout the year. These contests are opportunities for our community members to showcase their writing abilities. Check back to see our upcoming writing contests for AY 2019-2020.
In September 2017, we got a call at from The Public Theater in New York. They had found our website for the Saginaw and Bay Community Writing Centers, and they wanted to talk with us about bringing their theater group to perform in our region. They said, “We were looking for places that seem to involve the entire community and are focused on fostering the arts. Based on your website, you seem like the place.” We’re pleased to share that, after a year of conversations, The Public Theater came to Saginaw to do a one-night performance of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat, which tells the story of what happens in a midwestern auto-manufacturing town after the auto industry leaves. This performance was part of a tour The Public Theater did throughout October 2018; they performed this show one night in twenty different cities in the Midwest. Because of our collaboration with The Public Theater on this project (and because we are a writing center that focuses on celebrating our community’s writing), we created a “flash fiction” contest. The theme was “Work.” We were interested in short pieces (500-750 words) that tell the story of work—your best job, worst job, first job, or whatever work might mean to you. Submissions were due, of course, on Labor Day, September 3, 2018.
In January 2018, our inaugural issue of the community literary arts journal entitled Still Life was released. This first issue was recognized with a First Place Award by the American Scholastic Press Association. This issue features poetry from residents of Saginaw and Bay counties, along with photographs by SVSU art students. As an art form, a still life takes familiar objects and helps us see them in a new way; poetry, whether the focus is objects, places, or relationships, does the same thing. In January 2019, our second issue was released. Submissions for the 2019 edition of Still Life were accepted through July 15, 2019, with three $100 cash prizes given to the top three poems. We are currently accepting submissions for our 2020 issue; for more information, see svsu.edu/ccw/stilllife.
In celebration of the 2018 Theodore Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival, which took place at SVSU and the Great Lakes Bay Region in March 2018, the Bay and Saginaw Community Writing Centers accepted poems inspired by Roethke, Saginaw's native son and the only Michigan poet to have won a Pulitzer Prize. The winning entries appear in the 2018 issue of Still Life, found at svsu.edu/ccw/stilllife.
In January 2017, in partnership with the Saginaw Chapter of My Brother's Keeper, the Saginaw Community Writing Center held a creative writing contest based on four quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. The winning entries were printed on posters and displayed throughout the Saginaw region.