Cunningham Writing Contest winners announced

February 19, 2018

Trine University has announced the winners of its ninth annual Walter Cunningham Writing Contest.

Named after Walter Cunningham, a Tri-State University alumnus, the campus-wide competition honors the best in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and academic writing. Early in his career, while working for the U.S Department of Labor, Cunningham and his team were asked to write reports to be used as evidence in federal court cases. He found this experience so challenging that he was inspired to embark on a successful campaign to teach himself to write more effectively.

Cunningham and his wife Don Nell sponsor the Cunningham contest each year.

“It has been my lack of English and writing skills throughout my life that encourages me at this time in life to attempt to help others understand, in some small way, the importance of obtaining these skills early,” he said.

Winners for this year’s contest are:


First place — “Memory” by Morgan Smith, a freshman majoring in exercise science/pre-physical therapy from Liberty Township, Ohio.

Second place — “All that Glitters” by Vifa McBride, a junior majoring in biology from Bronson, Michigan.

Third place – “The Power of Storytelling” by Emma Lucas, a senior majoring in English and communication from Hamilton, Indiana.

Honorable mention was given to “Applying Psychoanalysis to ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ ” by Mycah Houser, a senior majoring in English and communication from Valparaiso, Indiana.

Creative nonfiction

First place — “Pieces” by Vifa McBride.

Second place — “Great Grandpa” by Jordan Blank, a senior majoring in English education from Montpelier, Ohio.

Third place — “Taboo” by Mycah Houser.

Honorable mention was given to “Cheering or Cheerful” by Taylor Davis, a freshman majoring in biology/pre-physician assistant from Fort Wayne, Indiana.


First place — “Runaway” by Mycah Houser.

Second place — “Mike’s Garage” by MaKenna Knuth, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice from Lake Villa, Illinois.

Third place — “Eruption” by Peyton Watson, a junior majoring in marketing from Upland, Indiana.


First place — “Fanfare” by Jazmine Dalman, a junior majoring in psychology from Fremont, Indiana.

Second place — “The Different Shores” by Nick Manolovits, a junior majoring in management from LaPorte, Indiana.

Third place — “A Word” by Jordan Blank.

Honorable mention was given to “What Are Miles?” by Nick Manolovits.

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