Students showcase creative writing skills

2024 Acuity creative writing winners

A new tradition began this year at Hesston College with the launch of the Acuity Creative Writing Contest. The contest encourages creative writing submissions from students as poetry or prose. The winning submissions were compiled into a magazine along with illustrations created by Joshua Cross, Hesston College art professor, and posted online at

“A writing contest and publication adds to the prestige of the institution,” says English Professor Miriam Barton. “Our community needs to foster and develop every opportunity to increase the depth and exposure of culture and diversity of thought that are displayed in opportunities like this.”

The contest was divided into four categories: poetry, narrative, short fiction and miscellaneous. Elsa Rayneau (Malang, Indonesia) took home first place in the poetry division with “Burnt Toast” while Bre Hatch (Las Vegas, Nev.) earned an honorable mention in the category with her poem, “Struggles of Pain.” Joy Widjaja (Bintaro, Indonesia) won first place in the short fiction category with “Nicotine & Ethanol” with Garrison Cobb (Archibald, Ohio) earning honorable mention with “A Blacksmith’s Work.” Lucas Peel (Caldwell, Texas) won the miscellaneous category with “Defining a Valuable Teammate” and Drew Gumbs’ (Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) work, “Results Day,” won the narrative division.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the writing contest this year,” says Barton. “There were enough contestants to have a competitive selection and the submissions were meaningful and displayed significant talent. I am very hopeful that this contest will continue to grow in the coming years”