One out of three ACU students who attended the Making Literature Conference received honors for their literary work submitted. The conference took place at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
Alyssa Johnson, senior English major from Wheeler, received an honorable mention award for her piece At Death Do They Part: The Gendered Suicides of Shakespeare’s Lovers. Johnson’s piece focused on gender roles in Shakespeare’s tragedies by suicide.
“I felt so honored to be chosen among so many other excellent submissions,” she said.
Johnson received the award after first presenting her paper in front of a panel made up of students, professor and conference presenters. After the presentation, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions regarding the literature, which Johnson said was the scariest part for her.
Lexi French, senior English major from Palestine, and McKinley Terry, sophomore English major from Longview, were the other two students who participated in the event. Both student submissions were well-received, with positive feedback and networking opportunities from their audiences.
French presented her personal nonfiction piece, titled Sister-Freak, at the conference. She said the networking possibilities that were provided were a great help, seeing as she hopes to publish her story.
“It is amazing the channels of communication you can open when you share your story,” French said. “I had so many people coming up to me after wanting to talk about their own experiences and how they related to my story.”
Terry’s paper, titled Welsh Revival: Celtic Themes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, examined Welsh elements within the poem. Terry said the presentation of his work led to further conversations about the historical significance of the Sir Gawain tale.
“I got to meet many other literature researchers,” Terry said. “Establishing connections with new people from multiple colleges.”
The students said the conference was not all work and no play, though. Along with listening to the other student presenters, the students heard from a variety of talented speakers.
Though the students spent quite a bit of time indoors and out of the cold, they ventured out to see the James Dean Museum in Fairmount, Indiana.