Posts Tagged ‘Contest’

The Review!

Posted: November 1, 2014 by thesvuunderground in Tapestry of Life
Tags: , ,

The Review is SVU’s literary magazine. Students can submit prose, poetry, lyrics, artwork, photographs, and short fiction! You’ve probably been seeing at least a few posters around campus about it. There are prizes for first and second place in each section: $100 and $50.

So! You should submit things, because not only do you have an opportunity to earn cash, but there’s the very real possibility of publication!

Forms are outside of Durham 309, and the deadline is today at 5 PM! So get out there and submit!

Weave. Tear. Mend.



The Promised Format Rant

Posted: September 16, 2012 by thesvuunderground in Tapestry of Life
Tags: , , ,

Dearest Undergroundlings,

Nota bene: Enclosed are the format expectations for all submissions to the Underground. Any submissions which do not follow this format (unless you’ve talked to one of the Fates and received an exemption, which is possible, but extremely unlikely) will not be distributed for editing or considered in any writing competition.

I will let you know right now that you’re going to learn to love to hate me pretty soon. Or you’ll just hate me, depending on how well you take criticism. But one of the purposes of the Underground is to actually improve your writing. Yes, we want you to write as much as possible and, for new writers, quantity improves quality enough that we’ll overlook some things, however, for the sake of everyone’s sanity some conventions must be observed.

Because most of you will be expected to use MLA format for your expository classwork (unless you’re history or science majors), we’ve decided to use that as our baseline. This means: typed in Times New Roman pt. 12 font, with 1″ margins, and double-spaced lines, with your last name and page number in the upper right hand corner. This is not the format you would use if you were to submit your work to a publisher, however,  following this format now will give you practice in adhering to strict formatting rules–a skill which will benefit you in any writing arena you enter in the future.

As you may have guessed, we expect you all to use proper grammar, syntax, and correct spelling. Some things I saw in the Game Night prompt responses which I strongly discourage:

  • Using capital letters for emphasis. Emphasis should be added through use of italics, not caps lock. Example: It’s not me, it’s you. As opposed to “It’s not ME, it’s YOU.”
  • Overuse of ellipses. They’re fun and convenient, but they should be used correctly and sparingly. This means using ” . . . ” (yes, with spaces at the beginning, in between each period, and at the end) occasionally in dialogue to indicate that the speaker has trailed off into silence. This should not be used to show that another character has cut the speaker off; in that instance a double dash (–) is used.
  • Incorrect and/or inconsistent capitalization. There are lots of capitalization rules, but they aren’t hard to learn. If you aren’t sure whether something should be capitalized or not, look it up. If you don’t have a copy of the Bedford Handbook, you have access to plenty of people who do (there are several available for use in the Von Canon Library–they’re right next to the printer). Or you can look it up online–the Purdue Online Writing Lab ( is an invaluable resource for writers of any kind.

Though we won’t turn away a submission because it contains typos or a few careless errors, I will correct them.  And I am positively brutal with red pen.

Finally, all submissions (unless otherwise specified) should be emailed to as .doc or .docx attachments. If we can’t open it, we can’t read it.

As with anything else in the Underground if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to talk to one of the three Fates.

Peace, love, and explosive decompression,

And the winner is…

Posted: September 10, 2012 by thesvuunderground in Tapestry of Life

Welcome back to another school year! After a very successful first meeting, we have the results of our writing contest. And the winner is… Lexi Melton! Her hand-written entry was longer than the word limit, but because it was hand-written we’ll let it slide this time since we all thought she had the best command of her story. However, next time we will require all entries to fall within a format we will give you in our next blog post. Cheers!



Molly Sunshine dragged her little feet along the dusty road, causing a little cloud to form around her sneakers. She sniffed and wiped the tears from her eyes. The way home from school was a long one, down a long winding dirt road. It was usually very serene and quiet in the woods surrounding- apart from the bird songs- but there was something else in the air that afternoon. The nine-year-old raised her head from her gloomy state and looked around. She thought she heard music, like an echo or a long lost whisper. Curiosity burned within the little girl, for she had never noticed any music on the road home before. A little hesitantly she stepped into the brush and made her way past brambles and briars. She could hear the music growing louder and louder. Fun music. The music of dreams. She finally made it out of the forest to come across a field. And in front of her was a circus. Normally Molly Sunshine would have been ecstatic at her find, but the day had not been good to her. Slowly, she started to walk past the tents and trailers. The scary-looking people walking around did not pay any attention to her. None of them were smiling. The rusted metal trailers didn’t look that appealing either; and the place smelled funny. Molly crinkled her nose and began to wonder if this unfriendly circus was out to get her, too. Now, as she listened to the music, it didn’t sound fun anymore. It sounded sad and warped. The little girl kicked a rock hard, tears filling her eyes again.


Molly jumped, and looked around. Sitting outside one of the tents was a man. He had a crooked nose, and a shiny head- but that’s not what the little girl noticed, for the man was covered in pictures. She had never seen anything like it before.

She paused, and finally answered ,“Hello.”

“What is your name?” His voice had a strong accent that Molly did not recognize.

“I am Molly Sunshine and I will be nine in forty-six days,” she exclaimed.

The picture man smiled kindly. “What a lovely name. But why is the sunshine so sad today? You have been crying.”

Molly scowled and slammed her bottom on a crate, folding her arms. “I have freckles,” she pouted.

Yes, you do,” the picture man said with amusement. “What is wrong with freckles?”

“They’re ugly! I’ve tried cleaning them off but they won’t get off my face.”
Much to the girl’s annoyance, the picture man started to laugh. “You can’t get rid of something that is a part of you, little Molly Sunshine.”

“So I’m going to be ugly for the rest of my life?” She asked in horror.

“You are not ugly-”

“But that’s what Joseph said! He said my face looks like it was splattered with mud.”

The picture man was silent for a moment. “I want to show you something,” he said a little quietly. He stood up at that moment and disappeared into the tent behind him. The girl hesitated, and then followed him. When she entered, her eyes grew wide; little lights and paintings and mechanical objects were everywhere. Little Molly had never seen anything so beautiful. The picture man, however, was off in the corner staring into a mirror sadly. Curious, she walked over and stood beside him.

“Tell me little Molly Sunshine, what do you see?”

Molly looked at her reflection. All she saw was a skinny little girl with frizzy curly brown hair and freckles. She folder her arms in a point. “I see ugly.”

“I know. Look at my skin…”

This caught her by surprise. “I wasn’t…” She trailed off.

She looked down at her feet and rocked back and forth. She looked timidly at the pictures that seemed to dance on his skin. The pictures seemed a bit scary. There were pictures of people in grotesque situations and of scary and sad things. There was also a woman, a sad woman with piercing eyes and dark hair.

“Why do you have drawings on your skin?” She blurted. “Did you draw them?”

The man slowly shook his head. “They are memories. Sad memories. Horrible memories. Things I wish to forget…”

“Then why-”

“It’s a curse.”

Molly looked at him critically.

“I did something bad, so a gypsy cursed me to see my memories every day- They are- I am- truly ugly.”

“I don’t think you’re ugly,” Molly said quietly.

The man smiled slightly. “It does not matter. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what I look like. It matters what I create.”

Molly looked around at all the amazing artwork. “So… even if I’m ugly, I can make something pretty. Right?”

The picture man nodded. “Even though you are not ugly.”

The glimmer of a smile appeared on the girl’s face. “Okay.” She looked up at the picture man. “Maybe it’s just that you think too much about the bad things,” she told him. “I’ll make you a deal. If I start liking my freckles, you have to start liking your pictures.”

“Okay,” the picture man said, amused.

Molly nodded and ran out of the tent, her brown curls bouncing behind her. The picture man stood there for a second, and then looked back at the mirror, his eyes falling over the tattooed memories on his skin. He closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them he smiled. For, on his arm, a new tattoo had appeared on his arm replacing an old one. It was a little picture of a sunshine.