Loyola University Maryland

Messina

Essay and Creative Expression Contest

Book Cover Image from What the Eyes Don't See featuring a picture of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha in a lab coat. Each year the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Messina sponsor a Common Text essay contest for the newest members of the Loyola community. The contest will also include a creative expression category.

The two first prize winners will each receive a check for $300. 3-4 students will also receive Honorable Mention prizes of $100. 

To be eligible, please submit an original essay or creative expression entry based on the prompts below to the Messina Office using this link no later than midnight on August 10, 2023. We will recognize and celebrate the winners during Fall Welcome Weekend. Only one submission per person will be accepted.

ESSAY PROMPT

Answer the prompt below using only the Common Text, your intellect, and creativity. No outside resources are necessary in this exercise in reflection and discernment. The goal is original thought and expression inspired by careful reading.  

Your essay should be no longer than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. Please include your name at the top of each page and submit your essay as a Microsoft Word or PDF document only.  

Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s book title comes from a quote she often shares with the medical students she teaches. The quote, from D.H. Lawrence, is actually “what the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist,” though Dr. Hanna-Attisha and others often recount it as “the eyes don’t see what the mind doesn’t know.”

How does Dr. Hanna-Attisha want us, as readers, to understand the relevance of that quote to the story she shares? How would you describe her intention in asking her students to focus on what the eyes don’t see in a community? How can you use the idea that “the eyes don’t see what the mind doesn’t know” to guide your entry into your new community at Loyola University? 


Submissions to the category will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for the following qualities: 
 
• Written work that clearly address the prompt and references examples from the book 
• Originality and imagination
• Written work that is clear, articulate, and logically organized  
• Written work that is carefully proofread  

 

CREATIVE EXPRESSION

Dr. Hanna-Attisha and others in her story work against formidable opponents to expose the Flint Water Crisis and call on leaders to fix the problem. Their story is often described as inspiring and it has, in fact, inspired others to take difficult steps to fight for environmental justice in their communities.
 
Prompt: Identify someone who has inspired you to do something difficult and complicated and use their story, or your relationship, or whatever inspired you about them, for a creative expression. 
 
Only one submission per person will be accepted. Artwork of any size and any medium will be accepted. Entries should be accompanied by an artist statement that does not exceed 500 words (1 page, double-spaced). Your artist statement should identify a transition in the book, note how you were inspired by it, and reflect on the process of making the entry. 
 
Creative Expression submissions may consist of the following categories:  
Visual Arts: Possible submissions include two-dimensional or three-dimensional works, in any media. You may submit a photo of the piece and/or a graphic file in JPG or GIF format. The recommended size for all files is 2MB or under.  
Creative Writing: Examples of this category include poetry, short stories, song lyrics and other forms of creative writing. All entries must be under 1000 words, in English (or include an English translation of the original work). Please submit as a Microsoft Word or PDF document. 
Music: Submissions should include a video or audio recording and a copy of the lyrics (include an English translation if the lyrics are in another language). Lyrics should be submitted as a Microsoft Word or PDF document. Video or audio recordings should be submitted in MOV or MP4 format, or you may upload the video to YouTube and provide us with a link. 
Digital Media: Short video submissions should be between 2 minutes and 5 minutes. Acceptable formats for video submission are MOV, MP4, or you may upload the video to YouTube and provide us with a link. 
Dramatic Monologue: Dramatic monologues may be captured through short video submissions and should be between 2 minutes and 5 minutes. Acceptable formats for video submission are MOV, MP4, or you may upload the video to YouTube and provide us with a link. 
 
If you use quotes or other copyrighted material, please use MLA or APA format and supply a Works Cited/Reference list.

By virtue of submission, the participant gives permission to Loyola University Maryland to publish the work as part of a virtual gallery or to use it in other promotional material. 

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: content, application and interpretation of the theme, and consistency with the prompt. Submissions to the category will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for the following qualities, depending upon the format and medium of the entry:  

Well thought out pieces that clearly address the prompt 
Depth of feeling about the subject 
Originality and imagination 
Eloquence and style 
Written work that is clear, articulate, and logically organized 
Written work that is carefully proofread 
 

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the essay or creative expression prompts and guidelines, please contact the Messina Office at 410-617-2190 or messina@loyola.edu

 

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