Vortex competition fosters creativity

The annual contest allows participants to display their storytelling chops


Daryl Ann Marinkovich, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

The submissions are in for the 2017 fall semester Scottsdale Community College Vortex Writing and Arts Competition. As the results are being reviewed by the judges, the wait for publication begins.

The Vortex Magazine is a small compilation of Poetry, Short Story, Creative Non-Fiction (personal essay), Play/Script, and arts of all types. The magazine is published each spring semester.

SCC holds a competition every fall and spring semester where all students can place a submission in any category they choose. Within each category the judges choose a first, second, and third place submission. Not only do they choose the top three but they include “honorable mentions” in each category for other students’ work that they feel was superb in their own right. A student placed in second or third place will receive a cash award, with first place offering the highest award at $200.

Although students receive money as one of their awards, they are published and get their names out as was the case with Alicia Hauskins, an Arizona State University student. Hauskins shared her thoughts about Vortex.

“It’s not like a class,” Hauskins said. It’s not where you have people showing you how to edit your work, it’s a contest. And when you win that, it’s really kind of a confirmation that you’re on the right track.”

Hauskins graduated from SCC in 2015 and had submitted an entry in every category in 2015. She took rst place in the category of Creative Non-Fiction (personal essay).

English Humanities teacher and Director of the Creative Writing Program, Sandra Desjardins, began working at SCC in 1999. In 2001 she created The Vortex Competition and directs them each year with the goal of increasing involvement from students in creative writing. Vortex provided a showcase for this.

“We got more people involved,” Desjardins said. “It’s really difficult sometimes in the arts to feel like you’re doing anything that significant, it’s real hard to have a sense of accomplishment. And so, Vortex gives that because it’s the only showcase we have for students in art and writing.”

Winners will be receiving their awards at The Vortex Reception that will be held on May 4, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Embassy Suits by Hilton. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased through a link offered on the SCC website or on campus in the Learning Center Office.