Dordt College News

Students are honored for excellence in writing

June 11, 2012

The Dordt College English department recently recognized 10 students for outstanding writing in the annual Purple Martin Writing Contest, a contest that has been held for 15 years.

While cash prizes are awarded for first and second place, there is more to the contest than the awards. Dean for Curriculum and Instruction Leah Zuidema described the contest as “a way for us to celebrate our students and their creative talents.”

Members of the English department read and judge the entries. And when it comes choosing a winner, recognizing excellence is not always easy. Professor of English Mary Dengler explained that “something is excellent when it reflects life or is truthful in its representation of life.”

Dengler said that the best writing “develops an argument with reasons and examples in a way that is powerful, authentic, winsome, and convincing.” These are qualities found in the winners of this year’s Purple Martin awards, she said.

This year’s winners are as follows:

First place: Anna Kalfs (Okabena, Minnesota), “Art of Teaching”
Second place: Adrian Hielema (Ancaster, Ontario), “On Break-Ups and Boundaries: Relationships of the Middle East”
Honorable mention: Daniel Sutter (Manson, Iowa), “The Reality in Fantasy: A Response to the Inheritance Cycle”

Literary Analysis
First place: Caroline Eckstrom (Stanton, Nebraska), “Orwell and Hemingway on War: The Enemy and How to Fight It”
Second place: Anna Kalfs (Okabena, Minnesota), “Silas Marner: Woven Together with Natural Law”

First place: Kristin Janssen (Hospers, Iowa), “Confessions”
Second place: Aubrey Pasker (Runnells, Iowa), “Pocket Full of Posies”

First place: Kelsey Huizinga (Excelsior, Minnesota), “Parkinglot” 
Second place: Anna Kalfs (Okabena, Minnesota), “Where I’m From”

Personal Writing
First place: Danielle Richards (Grand Island, Nebraska), “Last Half Mile”
Second place: Danielle Richards (Grand Island, Nebraska), “Goldfish,”

Freshman Essay
First place: Elizabeth Riley (Mount Vernon, Washington), “Accents of Christianity”
Second place: Elizabeth Riley (Mount Vernon, Washington), “And the Following Resulted”
Honorable mention: Nicholas Van Peursem (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), “Diamond in the Rough”

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