UNK Unveils Theme for Emerging Writers and Artists Contest: “Untold Stories”

UNK Unveils Theme for Emerging Writers and Artists Contest: “Untold Stories”
Courtesy UNK.

KEARNEY – If you’ve talked to a native Nebraskan, they’ve told you about one of the following: Arbor Day, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the sandhill crane migration, Warren Buffett, Runza, Dorothy Lynch dressing, the College World Series, Chimney Rock or the Unicameral.

But there are many “untold stories,” as well, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney is asking for high schoolers’ help in unearthing them. That’s the theme of this year’s Nebraska Emerging Writers and Artists Contest, an annual competition sponsored by the Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society in collaboration with the UNK Writing Center, Sigma Tau Delta English honor society, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society and UNK Art Society.

Open to any Nebraska high schooler, the contest gives students an opportunity to showcase their talent while competing for cash prizes. Participants are asked to submit an essay, poem, short story or artwork (photography, painting, drawing or 3D) to be judged by UNK undergraduate students. First-place winners in each category will receive a $100 prize and runners-up will be awarded $50.

Of course, every submission must use the “Untold Stories” theme as inspiration. Students could highlight, for example, a hometown legend, an off-the-beaten-path site, fascinating flora or fauna, or little-known aspects of important events such as the death of Crazy Horse at Nebraska’s Pine Ridge or the birth of Malcolm X in Omaha.

Other untold stories could include unobserved perspectives regarding Nebraska’s physical environment, its diverse population, challenges the state overcame, and other issues that remain to be addressed as we continue to forge a sense of what constitutes a Nebraskan.

Contest guidelines, as well as a submission link, can be found here. The submission deadline is February 28, 2023. Only one entry is allowed per person.

For more information, email Phi Eta Sigma President Tessa Eldridge or faculty adviser Maria O’Malley.