Writing Center seeks student essays for 'Berks Believes' anthology

In honor of the National Day on Writing, the Penn State Berks Writing Center, in collaboration with First-Year Seminar and the Learning Center, is soliciting student submissions for an in-house publication of "Berks Believes," an anthology of student-written essays that follow in the tradition of the "This I Believe" essay made famous by the 1950s radio show by the same name. In these short stories, authors write a 500- to 600-word essay that captures a specific personal belief or value.  

Students who are interested in submitting an essay, should follow the short guidelines below and submit their work to bk-writingcenter@psu.edu by midnight Oct. 20. Submissions will be reviewed and authors will be notified shortly thereafter. Stories may be edited by our staff, and we hope to publish the anthology during the spring 2015 semester. Some authors may be contacted to potentially record their essays as an audio file for our website.

The following guidelines for submission were take from http://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/.

Tell a story about you: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching — it can even be funny — but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Be brief: Your statement should be between 500 and 600 words.

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.

Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.

Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.

Submit your essay as a Microsoft Word file to bk-writingcenter@psu.edu.

For more information, contact Holly Ryan at holly.ryan@psu.edu.  

Last Updated October 10, 2014