Writing Contest

July 8, 2010
Posted by Jay Livingston

The InsideHigherEd table of contents listed:

Provost Prose
And the winner is . . .

I hadn’t read Ed in a while, so I thought they must have been running a contest with faculty submitting actual sentences from memos from their provosts.

Turns out, “Provost Prose” is a column written by an actual provost (Herman Miller of Hofstra), and his prose is surprisingly clear, readable, and non-bureaucratic. The column in question was about Hofstra’s Teacher of the Year award and whether a winner should be allowed to repeat, threepeat, etc., hence the title of the column.

But there should be an academic prose competition – like the Bulwer-Lytton awards. I used to collect particularly opaque gems of the genre, full of bureaucratic vagueness, but I must have deleted the file. Maybe some other more widely read blog would run the contest. Only authenticated memos from authenticated administrators. One hundred word maximum. All entries become the property of the blog. Offer not good where prohibited by law. Eyes on your own paper, turn off all cell phones, no flash photography, and if you have cellophane-wrapped candy, open it now.

No comments: