About the Contest and Journal

In 2021, Elon’s First-Year Writing (ENG1100) Program launched a writing contest and online journal to identify, award, and publish exemplary writing composed by students enrolled in ENG1100. Beyond the honor of being published in our online journal, Phoenix Rhetorix, winning students receive monetary awards, funded by Elon’s Department of English.

Any student enrolled in ENG1100 is eligible to submit work they composed in that course for consideration. We encourage faculty to nominate and submit exemplary student work, and students are also welcome to self-nominate writing and multimedia documents to be considered for the contest and publication.

Each year approximately 1500 students enroll in ENG1100, Elon’s required first-year writing course. Winners are selected by a committee of English and PWR faculty who teach in the first-year writing program.

This year’s contest and journal are focused on how the human act of writing can provide authentic insights into persistent problems or challenge conventional perceptions. We are interested in writing that demonstrates excellent research practices, seeks to understand the variety of human experiences, and advocates for change to improve the local or global community. Please nominate samples of exemplary writing that meet the criteria in the Call for Submissions.


  • Only current students at Elon University are eligible to participate. This year’s submissions must be written during and for the student’s ENG1100 class in the academic year 2023-24.
  • Faculty may nominate up to five students per semester and students may self-nominate. Students who self-nominate may submit up to two entries.
  • Group projects are eligible for the contest and publication. Groups should submit a single entry that lists all authors and designates a single contact person.


To be considered for the 2023-24 writing contest and publication in the 2024 edition of Phoenix Rhetorix, submissions from the Fall 2023 semester must be received by 11:59pm on December 15, 2023. Submissions from the Spring 2024 semester must be received by 11:59pm on May 27, 2024.

Submission Information

  • All types of writing and multimedia compositions produced in ENG1100 classes are eligible for consideration. These may include (but are not limited to) essays, articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, stories, interviews, analysis essays, reports, nonfiction writing, memes — anything students wrote or created for class is eligible for the contest.
  • Faculty are encouraged to nominate and submit excellent student work and students are welcome to self-nominate and submit your own work as well. All entries must be submitted via the Contest Submission Form.
  • The document submitted should not contain any identifying information, including student name, instructor name, or class section. Please delete identifying information wherever it is possible to do so.
  • Submitting an entry to the contest indicates that, to the best of the person’s knowledge, the composition was written for an ENG1100 class at Elon University and is entirely the student’s own work. Work submitted must be written without the assistance of AI. If the document receives a prize, the student will be asked to provide written permission for it to be published in Phoenix Rhetorix. Editors of the anthology may ask the student to revise their work before publication and reserve the right to edit students’ submissions. Publication is contingent on successful revision and satisfactory source checking.
  • If the entry is chosen as a finalist, the winning student and their ENG1100 instructor will be interviewed about the piece and process, and elements of those interviews will be published with the winning entry.
  • The Phoenix Rhetorix editorial board strives to ensure that every student submission is reviewed equitably and impartially. To ensure fairness during the judging process, student work is read anonymously. Phoenix Rhetorix faculty and staff also make sure that if a student’s professor is on the editorial board, that professor will not review their submitted work.


Entries will be evaluated according to the following rubric:

  • Purpose: How well does the entry accomplish its intended goal(s)?
  • Audience: How well does the entry communicate with its intended audience(s)?
  • Content: How effectively does the entry engage critically and thoughtfully with its topic, offer in-depth analysis, and/or provide new insight?
  • Genre: How effectively does the entry’s genre support its purpose(s) and connection with audience(s)?
  • Design and Style: How effectively does the document’s writing style and/or design features support its ideas?

How to Submit

Fill out the ENG1100 Writing Contest and Phoenix Rhetorix Journal Submissions Form (linked below) no later than 11:59pm on December 15, 2023 (Fall semester) or May 27, 2024 (Spring semester).


If you have questions about the contest and/or publication, contact First-Year Writing Program Coordinator, Heather Lindenman at hlindenman@elon.edu.

If you have questions about your submission or whether your submission was received, contact English Department Program Assistant, Jeana Schickedantz at jschickedantz@elon.edu.