Stan McKenzie Prize for Writing in the First Year

Who is eligible?

Students enrolled in the First Year Writing in Spring, Summer, or Fall may submit a portfolio of work. First Year Writing Courses during this competition period include: UWRT-150, ENGL-150, and ISTE-110.

What is a “Portfolio of Work”?

A portfolio of work for this prize consists of writing from the student’s First Year Writing course that demonstrates development across drafts of a research-based writing project, as well as critical reflection about the writing process itself. The student should include the following items in digital format:

  • McKenzie Prize Submission Form
  • At least 2 drafts of a research-based paper (minimally a preliminary draft and the final draft) that integrate multiple sources to support a clear claim. The final draft should display correct and consistent citation of sources in an accepted publishing format (MLA, APA, or Chicago).
  • A Personal Reflection letter describing the process of research and revision for this paper. Include what has been changed in the final draft because of and based on the feedback/revision cycle.

Who can Submit?

  • First Year Writing course faculty will notify students to urge them to submit portfolios for consideration. The students will need to acknowledge their willingness to be considered for this prize by completing the submission form.
  • All submitters should review the guidelines for the reflection cover letter (described below). Faculty may provide guidance to the students for the reflection letter.
  • The prize is open to currently enrolled RIT students. 

What is a reflection letter?

Students who are submitting work for this prize are asked to write an essay of 500-800 words in which they reflect on their process of writing and revising the submitted paper. A detailed guide is attached to the submission form.

What is the deadline for entry?

February 4th, 2022

What is the award process?

A panel of First Year Writing faculty will read complete portfolios, evaluate the quality of the writing and revision presented in the portfolio, and identify the winners. Awards will be presented at the Kearse Awards and McKenzie Prize Ceremony toward the end of the Spring semester. Following that tradition, the prize-winning students will be introduced by their First Year Writing instructors, who will each give a brief statement concerning the students’ work.

What is the award?

The first place award is $500. The second place award is $250.

Publication of Student Work

Traditionally, the writings that win the McKenzie Prize are published in an RIT collection along with other award-winning writing. They will be featured here on the UWP website, and award-winning portfolios also may be made available to future First Year Writing classes for instructional use.