Mount Union Students Dominate in Echo Literary Competition

April 18, 2016

BY: Kristin Werstler

The Echo Literary competition is an annual writing contest for undergraduate students attending the University of Mount Union, Bethany College, Heidelberg University, Hiram College, Marietta College and Muskingum University. Students can submit pieces in poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction.

Mount Union students dominated this year’s competition. In creative nonfiction, sophomore Kacie Prologo took first place, senior Gabriella Pishotti took third, and sophomore Abbey Schlanz earned an honorable mention. In poetry, freshman McKenzie Caldwell took second place and Schlanz took third place.

“Going in I just submitted pieces I was proud of, but I didn’t expect much since none of my submissions last year were selected,” states Schlanz. “It’s both humbling and encouraging to know that other people find my writing worth of recognition. I can’t express how excited I am to represent Mount Union’s writing community, along with several other talented Mount students who also placed.”

Pishotti shares in Schlanz’s delight. “I was so honored and excited when I found out my story had been selected as a prize winner! The piece had been my SCE, and for submission I had to cut it down from 30 pages to around 4, which was really difficult, so I honestly wasn't expecting to do that well in the competition. I think that is good advice to other writers though - just submit to these contests because there's no downside, and you may find yourself surprised by the outcome.”

Prologo weighed in on the fears of submitting, “I always feel nervous submitting, and I don't think that ever goes away,” she explains. “I don't know if it should. If you've put a lot of yourself in the work then it's always going to feel like letting go of something, [but] the work still needs to go out if only because it was important enough for you to write down. The hope is that it's important enough for someone to read.”

Caldwell shares her experience in submitting. “After I submitted, I went back and checked to see if my pieces had been accepted  - probably for about a week or two after submitting. After that, I just completely forgot about it. But then I checked my email and saw that I had an email from Dr. Tascone that mentioned the Echo in the subject line. I was really confused at first. I didn't know why he was sending it to me. Even when I looked at the poetry winners, I saw Abbey's name first. Then I looked at the name above, and it took a small forever for me to realize that I was McKenzie Caldwell from Mount Union. I went and called my parents right away.”

Along with monetary prizes, the students will also be published in the 2016 Echo Literary Anthology.

To learn more about the contest or submission guidelines, please visit:

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