Dordt College News

Dordt student receives high praise for essay

June 4, 2012

Dordt College student Danielle Richards’ creative essay “The Last Half Mile” recently received high praise and a place in the spring edition of nationally published creative writing journal Fine Lines. Richards is a senior English writing major at Dordt College from Grand Island, Nebraska.

Fine Lines is a quarterly literary journal that publishes prose, poetry, and writing on a national scale. Richards’ essay was published in its most recent Spring 2012 edition, and drew the attention of University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Emeritus Professor of English J.J. McKenna, a judge for the entries submitted for publication to Fine Line. McKenna praised Richards and her work, saying, “Danielle’s piece is wonderfully good, honest, descriptive, nicely structured. She’s got tons of talent. It’s hard to believe this is her first piece. I just love it.” 

Dordt’s Emeritus Professor of English James Schaap also had good things to say of Richards’ writing, commenting that “her writing is gifted with something akin to almost perfect pitch.”

The work was originally an essay written for her Advanced Expository class with Schaap, and Richards said that it was Schaap who encouraged her to submit her essay to Fine Lines. “He helped me through it and encouraged me,” Richards said.

Upon finding out that she was officially published, Richards said she was very excited. She hopes that this is the first of many publications, as she plans on attending grad school and potentially becoming a college professor.

“The Last Half Mile” was inspired by Richards’ hometown of Grand Island, Nebraska, and her neighbors there. “It’s spot on, about them and their deepest secrets,” Richards said.


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