Carnegie Mellon University

MLK Awards 2018 Anthology Cover Image

January 05, 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Award Winners Address Contemporary Social Issues

By Stefanie Johndrow

For the nineteenth year, high school and college students from across western Pennsylvania have addressed topics of difference and diversity in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards. This year’s winners touched on topics ranging from racial and sexual identity to the current political climate and more.

The student winners will receive cash prizes, have their pieces published in a booklet and will read their poems and essays at an awards ceremony on Monday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in CMU’s Cohon University Center Rangos Ballroom. Campus music groups will also perform, and the event is free and open to the public.

“We were particularly pleased to receive entries from a number of new schools this year, and the quality of the entries overall was exceptionally high,” said Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English who founded and directs the awards program. 

Emma Steckline, aged 15 and a student at CAPA, won first place in the high school prose category for “Where’s Waldo,” an analysis of LGBTQ representation in the media. Last year, Steckline won an honorable mention in the high school prose category.