The McKinney Writing Contest is NOT cancelled!  However, given that Rensselaer classes are suspended, we have revised instructions for submitting entries for the Contest.

* If you are on campus, you can still bring your entries (3 copies + entry form) to Sage 3502. 

* If you are no longer on campus, or if you simply prefer, you can mail in your entry to this address, postmarked no later than Tuesday, March 17:

            McKinney Contest

            c/o Dr. Barbara Lewis

            30 Washington Road

            Scotia, New York 12302

* For Electronic Media entries, there is no change. Follow the existing instructions.

Unfortunately, we will have to cancel the awards ceremony.  Winners will be contacted about the results of judging. If you have any questions, please email Barbara Lewis at

Entries will be accepted in undergraduate and graduate divisions in each of the following categories: Fiction or Drama, Poetry, Essay / Creative Nonfiction, and Electronic Media. 

Students may submit to as many categories as they wish; however, students are limited to two entries and one award in each category.

Print Media

  • Fiction or Drama - A short story, a novel or chapter from a novel, a one-act play, or a full-length play or screenplay. 
  • Poetry - A group of poems or a single poem from each entrant.
  • Essay / Creative Nonfiction  - An essay (can include a paper written for a class) or a work of creative nonfiction.

Electronic Mixed Media Using Language  

  • This category asks for any artistic visualization using words as a dominant element to convey a story, message, or experience. Fiction, drama, poetry, creative nonfiction, and essays using electronic mixed media are encouraged, as are all forms of visual communication that emphasize words in 2-d, 3-d, or 4-d. Examples include interactive narratives, motion graphics, audio-visual art, games, animations, net art, storybooks, comics, and writing that incorporates photographs or illustrations—handmade art or prints may be scanned and submitted as a digital file.