Contests offer cash prizes:

Photo by Claire Ekas.

By Donovan Ortiz:

The Common Reader competition is an opportunity for students to compete and win cash prizes for work relating to the Common Reader, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. The cash prizes total $1,400 and is open to all Amarillo College students. There will be a writing competition and a visual art competition.

The book contains collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. First, second and third place winners will be awarded for a total of $700 for the writing competition.

For the writing portion of the competition, participates are encouraged to write an original piece, fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, that tells about something you carry that has a certain impact on your life.

“It includes a good deal of work,” Becky Easton, English department chair, said. “Writing isn’t always fun when you’re doing it right, however there is some satisfaction when you can communicate your ideas powerfully through your writing.”

All entries must be typed and be no longer than 2,500 words. The entries should refer to the Common Reader text and using examples from the reader text will help improve the entry.

For the visual arts competition, students will try to create an artistic response in which similar to the writing portion, will be something you carry with you all the time. Cash awards for the winning entries total $700.

“I think it will help me in my art process,” Jeremiah Galan, a graphic design major said. “I like art and this competition can help me establish a good art background, since I love doing tattoos I can create a good design for the competition.”

Students can create any sort of visual element from paintings and drawing, sculptures, photography or may even re-enact scenes from the book. Any media will be acceptable to submit and will be shown in an exhibition show in the Common Lobby Gallery.

“It is a good challenge that is particle,” Rene West, photography and visual arts professor, said. “I hope more people would do it because often times in art we are ask to respond to things and so this is good practice to gain more real world applications in the arts.”

The entry deadline for the visual art competition will be Wednesday, Dec. 13 and the writing entry deadline has already passed. Winners will be announced at a reception in the spring semester.

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