The Prism

The Prism is the annual student writing and art competition at Ferris State University, sponsored by the Department of English, Literature, and World Languages. Any current FSU student is eligible, and judging takes place each spring. There are cash prizes in each category, and winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in the spring as well as in print in The Prism journal published in the fall.

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Entries are considered in the following categories:

  • Freshman/Sophomore Essay (The Mary Kilgallen Award)
  • Freshman/Sophomore Research Paper
  • Junior/Senior Essay
  • Junior/Senior Research Paper
  • Technical Writing/Professional Writing/Script Writing (The Daniel Ding Award)
  • Poetry
  • Short Fiction
  • Art

The art contest accepts original artwork in any medium including acrylic, oil, water color, pen and ink, photography, etc.

Contest History

The Prism contest began in 1978.  Mary Kilgallen, a faculty member of the Department of Languages and Literature, founded the contest and coordinated it until her retirement in 2007. Jamie Thomas, from the Department of English, Literature, and World Languages, coordinates it today.

Submissions and Judging

Writing and Art entries are accepted year-round via the Submissions tool, but the deadline for each year’s contest is the fourth Monday in March (unless otherwise advertised). Submissions after this date will be entered into the following year’s competition.

The entries are judged blind by members of the Department of English, Literature, and World Languages. The entries are stripped of student names and other identifying text and assigned numbers prior to the judging. The judges cast votes and the winners are announced and invited to the awards luncheon in the Spring. Winning entries also appear in the Prism journal published each fall and mailed to the winners.