BYU publication lab writing contest up for grabs


    By Mounu Mataele

    Students can turn their worst date stories into prizes in the second BYU Publication Lab writing contest.

    “We”re not going to be exclusive and only select English majors (as winners),” said Tom Kohler, 23, a senior from McClean, Va., majoring in English and works as a tutor in the lab. “Don”t expect that it”s not going to be admissible because you”re not the best writer. We”re looking for the best stories. We can work on the writing later. We”re looking for the best content.”

    Even individuals who are not members of the BYU community can enter the contest.

    “We do not want to exclude anyone,” said Laura Woodward, 19, a sophomore from San Diego, Calif., majoring in English, who also works as a tutor in the lab. “I mean, BYU students are not the only ones with the worst dates. You can get your grandma to send something in from the ”20s.”

    Stories can be up to 500 words in length and must be typed and double-spaced.

    Entries must include a cover sheet with story title and author”s name, phone, address and e-mail. Entries can be submitted in person to 2721 HBLL until Nov. 26. Prizes and possible publication will be given to the top three entries.

    Some BYU students said they did not want to share their worst date stories.

    “Well, I wouldn”t be interested in writing about my worst date story,” said Line Lautaha, 19, a sophomore, majoring in English from Laie, Hawaii. “It”s not public material because it”s just personal. I don”t have a worst date story. I just have regret date stories.”

    Others were not sure which date they wanted to write about.

    “I”ve only had worst dates,” Woodward said and chuckled. “So I”m going to submit the best of my worst dates.”

    Some married students said they cannot remember their worst dates.

    “I”m married and I already have a daughter,” said Philippe Thompson, 23, a senior, from Miami, Fla., majoring in English. “That”d be too weird (to think about his worst date). It was a long time ago when I was dating.”

    Other students say they are interested to see the results of the contest.

    “I think it”s a good idea,” said Tonya Buchovich, 19, a sophomore, from Cleveland, Ohio, majoring in early childhood education. “A lot of people have been on really bad dates. You hear people talk about it or people go on the Soapbox and they tell you about this date… I think it”s the funniest ever. If you published it, that would be hysterical.”

    A contest last year sponsored by the publication lab called for limericks. Winners were published in the “Collegiate Post.”

    “We were thinking of doing a nursery rhymes (for this year”s contest),” Kohler said. “But they are harder to write and have to be politically correct and have some social commentary. We decided something with more of a general appeal like dating stories might be more appropriate for a college campus.”

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