Et Cetera autumn writing contest is underway this week


Sadie Helmick

Cicada Books and Coffee is located at 604 14th Street in West Huntington.

Marshall University’s literary journal organization, Et Cetera, is sponsoring its annual autumn writing contest, with winners to be announced Nov. 1 at Cicada Books and Coffee in Huntington.

All Marshall students are invited to send in submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction or hybrids until Sunday, Oct. 28. Students may submit up to three poems and one piece each of fiction and nonfiction, and winners will be published online and encouraged to read their work aloud at the event. All submissions will be judged by members of Marshall’s English department.

“This competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to have their work read and published by writers and professors within the department,” Morgan Byrne, an editor and social media representative for Et Cetera, said.

Byrne said the competition presents writers with valuable growing experiences such as reading work in front of an audience and having work judged by experts, and winners will have the opportunity to include their achievement on job resumes in the future.

Jennifer Whitt, a sophomore at Marshall majoring in philosophy, is one writer hoping to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Et Cetera. Whitt said she plans to participate in the upcoming competition as well as the spring journal because they are great ways for her to challenge herself and share her work with others.

“I love to write creatively, whether it’s prose, poems or stories, and as a writer, being able to share your work and experience it with others is a beautiful thing,” Whitt said.

Whitt said it would be incredible to read her work aloud at Cicada Books and Coffee if she wins, but the sharing and experiencing of each other’s works is a valuable experience itself.

“Writing is a very intimate thing for me, so I love being able to share that feeling with other creatives,” Whitt said.

Submissions should be sent to [email protected], and files should include only the name of the work and the content itself, leaving the writer’s name in only the subject line of the e-mail. This is to ensure judging is done anonymously, Byrne said.

Et Cetera’s autumn writing competition is open only to Marshall students; however, all Marshall affiliates, including graduates, are encouraged to participate in the journal’s spring print edition. Submissions for the spring journal will open in late December or early January, Byrne said.

“Cicada Books is a lovely bookstore and coffee shop, and we are so incredibly thankful for their having allowed us to hold this event there,” Byrne said.

Douglas Harding can be contacted at [email protected]