DUT will host its 8th annual writing competition
Students have until November 6th to submit their work for this year’s Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Annual Creative Writing Competition.
The competition is run by the DUT Writing Centre and is part of a student development initiative where all full-time DUT undergraduates can participate. There are three genres, short stories, poems and essays. In this year’s competition, students stand to win a laptop among other prizes
Andrea Alcock, a writing practitioner at City Campus and also part of the DUT Annual Creative Writing Task Team, said the writing centre is meant for every kind of writing and not just academic writing.
“We don’t want to just fix the work, we want to work with the person,” said Andrea.
She said students have the wrong view of the writing centre.
“Students tend to think we just want to fix their grammar and spelling, and that is not the case. It’s the ideas that we are interested in,” Andrea emphasised.
Minenhle Khazi, journalism student, won the poetry category of the competition in 2018 when she was only doing her first year. She echoed Andrea’s words about the writing centre focusing on ideas.
“When I gave them my poem for them to check, they hardly changed anything. I think they only changed one line,” Minenhle recalled.
She says she only participated in the competition because she did not have a laptop, however, she says she goes to the writing centre often since she is a journalism student.
The writing competition is meant to encourage students to consult the writing centre when doing their work. In the writing competition brochures, students are encouraged to consult with the writing centre after having written their pieces.
Andrea says on average about 100 students participate in the writing competition every year – that is 100 students out of approximately 33 000 DUT students.
In a 2018 report issued by Universities of South Africa in partnership with the University of Free State, it was found that there was a large gap between institutional support (academic and non-academic) students expected to receive and what they felt they received.
“While more than 90% of students entering university feel it is important that their institutions provide academic support and encourage them to make use of learning support services, only 74% and 79% respectively feel that their institutions emphasise academic support in these areas,” the report stated.
The writing competition and the writing centre is one of DUT’s ways of providing academic support.