UMN First-Year Writing Program Student Writing Awards

The First-Year Writing Program is accepting self nominations for our 2023 FYW Student Awards.  We annually select up to 5 recipients for this award. 

All submissions will also be considered for The Jacobsen Spirit Award.  The Jacobsen Spirit award recognizes a piece of student writing that best embodies the virtues of our beloved colleague Scott Jacobson: vitality, concise wit, and humor

Award recipients will be notified by email early in spring semester.  Recipients will receive a prize and have their essay published on the FYW Program website and in the Digital Conservancy.

Criteria for Award: 

  • The composition powerfully and effectively creates meaning and delivers a message.
  • The composition demonstrates rhetorical awareness in that it is adapted to meet the needs of the rhetorical situation. The composition is highly successful in engaging an audience. Both macro-level (message, structure, and components) and micro-level choices (word choice, sentence structure, style) enable the audience to think about the topic.
  • The composition skillfully develops content that draws on experience and/or research to inquire into and develop insight into the question or topic raised by the essay.
  • The submission is original work, produced in Spring 2023, Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 WRIT 1201, WRIT1301, or WRIT1401
  • Reflects the range of topics, perspectives, voices, and forms of writing that are studied and produced in FYW course


How to Submit Your Work for Consideration 

  1. Students can submit up to 1 piece of work for the committee to consider 
  2. Self-nominations only; can be by a single student-author or by a group of student-author


Submit Your Essay

Submission Information

Submissions will be welcome until December 29, 2023

Deadline for submissions:  
December 29, 2023

Past Winners:

Winning submissions are available to read via the University Digital Conservancy. (See below)


Carson Nida - First-Year Writing Student Writing Award
Lindsey Oh - First-Year Writing Student Writing Award
Evan Peterson - First-Year Writing Student Writing Award
Jens Henrickson - First-Year Writing Student Writing Award Honorable Mention
Amanda Rognerud - First-Year Writing Student Writing Award Honorable Mention
Perry Clifton - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

Lauren Facente - Writing from Experience Winner
Charlotte McDaniel - Writing from Experience Honorable Mention
Ellie Schugel - Writing from Experience Honorable Mention
Amanda Foster - Writing with Sources Winner
Rianna Gomes - Writing with Sources Winner
Isa Guillen - Writing with Sources Honorable Mention
Terry Vu - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

Mary Johnson - Writing from Experience Winner
Emily Ross - Writing from Experience Honorable Mention
Carel Tulus - Writing with Research Winner
Bradley Allen - Writing with Research Honorable Mention
Sammy Schutz - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award
Yasmin Mohran - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award
Jorge Aliaga del Campo - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award Honorable Mention

Hana Abdelhamid - Writing from Experience Award
Philip Hult - Writing from Experience Award
Serena Yang - Writing from Experience Honorable Mention
Amy Nguyen - Remix Award
Maddie Toombs - Remix Award
Lauren Gray - Remix Honorable Mention
Euan Lim - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award
Manan Mrig - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

*Due to COVID disruptions, this group of awards included submissions from summer 2019 through fall 2020 semesters.

Hunter Babcock - Excellence Award
Jimmy Cooper - Excellence Award
Adam Dahlquist - Excellence Award
Benjamin Kuker - Excellence Award
Hayden Taillon - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award 

Charles Bengtson - Excellence Award
McKenna Dale - Excellence Award
Eesha Irfanullah - Excellence Award

Anaa Jibicho - Excellence Award
Angela Rancone - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award
Michael James Staff - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

Adam Kostanecki - Excellence Award
Michael Leehan - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award
Julie Yuan - Excellence Award
Syreen Bnabilah - Excellence Award
Gayatri Narayanan - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

Hayley McCormack - Excellence Award
Jordan Sparks - Excellence Award
Xochitl Alejandra Villezcas - Excellence Award
Benjamin Ogilvie - Excellence Award
Sia Thao - Scott Jacobson Spirit Award

Abigail Meyer
Sidney Paulson
Daniel Picardo
Cody Tucholke

Molly Anderson
Brady Becker
Ivy Johnson
Eric Osborn
Nathaniel Smith