Feature Writing


155 Entries

Gold Award

University of Waterloo (Canada) - "The Thinnest Line"

• This is a well-crafted piece. Great use of quotes and pull quotes. Compelling story.
• I enjoyed how the writer was able to talk about one man's story and connect it to world events and his research on refugee stories.

Clemson University (South Carolina) - "The Unbreakable Tiger"

• Excellent writing. It help my attention to the very end. Very moving.
• The superb visuals and organization, along with strong writing, made this a real winner.

The University of Manitoba (Canada) - "Warrior of Change"

Silver Award

College of Charleston (South Carolina) - "Her Bully Pulpit"

Pennsylvania State University - "The Squirrel Whisperer"

George Washington University (Washington D.C.) - "The Fight and the Fury of the Z-Man"

Stanford University (California) - "The Unbendable Bolton Brown"

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - "Zuzia's New Skin"

Bronze Award

Campbell University (North Carolina) - "In the Field | A Day in the Life of a Third-Year Medical Student"

Columbia University (New York) "The Revenge of Jenji Kohan"

University of Connecticut Foundation - "Among Angels"

University of Kansas - "Mission Relief"

University of Massachusetts Amherst - "Back from 'Nam"

University of Michigan Ann Arbor - "An Execution in the Family"

University of Rhode Island - "Life in Black and White"

18 Entries

Gold Award

Loyola Marymount University (California) - "Letter From L.A.: Hot Air"

  • In terms of excellent presentation and content, Loyola Marymount University's "Letter from LA: Hot Air" by Joseph Wakelee-Lynch is our winner.
  • This piece is a reflection on nature and politics that, while set in a specific place, carries a universal message. The writer offered perspective on the Santa Ana wind, a phenomenon peculiar to Los Angeles by weaving together literary references, scientific explanation (by a Marymount scientist, no less) and rich description.
  • Whether or not one has endured this December wind in Los Angeles, this place and this dry heat come to life. When Wakelee-Lynch references the noxious political election season, a reader feels the burn before the final, hopeful conclusion:

Silver Award

Santa Clara University (California) - "The Art of George Tooker"

  • This restrained and eloquent piece by Dana Gioia was a joy to read. It clearly communicated the vision of the artist and articulated the writer's point of view.
  • The accompanying imagery provided excellent support for the themes in the article. One judge said, "The image almost made me feel uncomfortable, which mimics the dichotomy of the artist's life: ancient and contemporary."
  • Judges were left to speculate Tooker's connection to the University. Was Tooker's work on exhibit? Did the author or editor have a personal connection to the artist? That small piece of information would have communicated a vital connection which in turn would have served to clarify the objective of the article.


128 Entries

Silver Award

Harvard University (Massachusetts) - "A Fine Line"

  • Dramatic lead.
  • Strong writing that dives into a really tough topic that most people are probably unaware of.

Boston University (Massachusetts) - "Toxic Legacy: How Cape Cod Drinking Water Shaped the Career of Epidemiologist Ann Aschengrau"'

  • Strong lead -
  • Judges liked how the story allowed for criticism and to show foibles of the researchers.
  • Strong writing style/voice.
  • Provided some nice insight/details on researchers.

Columbia University (New York) - "Your Beautiful Brain"

  • Excellent writing style and voice.
  • Although story introduced you to several top brain researchers, it was well organized and felt cohesive.
  • The separate profiles of scientists were well done and compelling.
  • Science writing can be tough - writer was able to translate complex topics in an easily understood and compelling manner.

Johns Hopkins University (Maryland) - "Dancing with Danger"

  • Points for putting readers in the middle of an unusual and uncomfortable setting.
  • Good scene setting and story development, along with relationship.
  • Writer does a good job of providing vignettes of dancers and connecting their experiences to research.
  • Unique, provocative & topical.

Stanford University (California) - "'And Yet You Try': A Father's Quest to Save His Son"

  • Gripping lead - building up to drama.
  • Well-developed story and description of family's pain and father's attempt to understand his son's diagnosis.
  • Excellent writing style.

Bronze Award

Vanderbilt University (Tennessee) - "House Calls to the Homeless"

  • Creative - first-hand account.
  • Topical subject.
  • Nice scene setting and detail.
  • Would have liked more detail about the homeless population.

University of Maryland College Park - "The Thick Red Line"

  • Excellent lead - compelling story about redlining and the history of exploitation and housing segregation against blacks with a focus on Baltimore neighborhoods. 

Princeton University (New Jersey) - "Lesley's Story"

  • Very brave of alumna to offer her story and for Princeton to share it.
  • Heartbreaking topic.
  • Well written and provides "behind the scenes" descriptions of the choices terminal patients faced.
  • Would have liked more detail about Lesley - her life prior to cancer.