Featured Writing

In College Writing, students are challenged to write more critically and creatively, and to become new and more thoughtful writers even as they develop existing strengths. Below is a sampling of the work produced by students in College Writing, as well as various recognition opportunities available to students at Washington University. Our hope is to make real for students the idea that there are real audiences for their work, that their writing participates in and contributes to a broader intellectual community, and that their writing can matter.

Emerging Voices celebrates first-year writing

First-year students read original work produced in College Writing classrooms.


REMAKE is a space for the new thought and vision of first-year students at Washington University. Our annual journal will showcase how first-year work—everything from art to research to creative writing—changes our campus by challenging our assumptions, rethinking our ideas, and giving new shape to the perspectives we hold and the stories we tell.


Emerging Voices

The College Writing Program hosts a reading of  first-year writing produced in College Writing classrooms at the end of the spring semester. Emerging Voices has long been an outlet for first-year expression—to declare, as a university and as a writing community—that the thoughts, desires, and diverse experiences of the first-year body matter, that your words on the page have meaning. 

Emerging Voices, Spring 2020

The seventeen first-years presented in this video are funny, dolorous, witty, droll; they are wistful, incisive, disarmingly candid. They are everything you’d expect from such a robust class, and nothing like the nihilistic memes that have come to haunt 2020. They are the voices of a first-year class divided by disaster, but united in the decibels on display here.

Outside the College Writing Program

  • English Department

    Each spring, the department of English judges and presents seventeen annual prizes for the best student writing in drama, poetry, prose fiction, non-fictional prose, and critical essays analyzing literature.

  • Carl Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition

    The Carl Neureuther Student Book Collection Essay Competition encourages students at Washington University to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives.

  • The Spectacle

    The Spectacle is committed to publishing work from under-represented voices, including people of color, women, people from LGBTQIA+ communities, and people who have disabilities.

  • Mendel Sato Research Award

    The Sato Research Award is looking for projects that draw from research conducted with the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections. Projects can be in any medium from written papers to multimedia projects.

Go explore, they say. / But all I am is a snail, / who likes its round shell.

―Richard Xie2019 Haiku Contest Winner

Haiku Contest

Students currently enrolled in a College Writing course can submit an original haiku based on their course theme (Dreams & Nightmares, Writing Identity, etc.) Winning haikus will be published on the College Writing Program website. Don't know how to write a haiku? It's a simple three line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable count.