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Students win awards at two literary competitions

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Dec 03, 2019

College of Lake County writers captured three awards, including one first-place finish, at the 2019 Illinois Skyway Conference Writers’ Competition and Festival in November. Additionally, the college’s literary magazine recently took second place at an annual contest for community colleges.

At the Writers’ Festival, held Nov. 14 at Elgin Community College, the CLC student winner in the drama category was “The Creeksville Bookstore” by Lily Pinkowski (Grayslake), first place. For poetry, Casper Badovinac (Hainesville) took second placePhoto of three CLC students who won writing awards with “I Asked My Mother What Her Heaven Would Look Like and She Didn’t Have an Answer.” Tomoko Funahashi (Mundelein) took second place in fiction with “One Hundred Days of Prayer.”

Photo (from left): CLC students Tomoko Funahashi, Lily Pinkowski and Casper Badovinac won awards at the 2019 Illinois Skyway Conference Writers’ Competition and Festival.

“It takes a lot of courage and determination for students to submit their work for review. The writing programs at CLC offer a welcoming, encouraging space for writers to explore their potential,” said Michael Latza, English professor and editor of CLC’s award-winning journal, “Willow Review.” 

 “I left the competition feeling more inspired than anything because I was surrounded by so many other writers that also work hard and are passionate about what they do,” Pinkowski said. “And at CLC, my professors have been both encouraging and challenging as they push me to refine and develop my writing.”

Majoring in English and secondary education, Pinkowski plans to graduate from CLC in May and transfer to Lake Forest College. Her career goal is to be a high-school English teacher and continue publishing her writing.

The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference provides competition in athletics and academics for its eight member schools, including CLC, Morton College in Cicero, Elgin Community College, Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills and Prairie State College in Chicago Heights.

In the magazine contest, the 2019 edition of “Prairie Voices,” CLC’s literary arts publication, won second place in the Literary Magazine Competition (central division) in the Community College Humanities Association Annual Literary Magazine Contest held in October.

“Winning second place is definitely something to be proud of, and combined with the magazine’s first-place showing in three of the last four years, it speaks to the strengths of the college’s academics,” said Nicholas Schevera, Ph.D., “Prairie Voices” editor and professor of English and humanities. “For many students, this is their first time being published and their faculty mentors are extremely excited for them.”

The publication is a joint effort by many people, including 27 student writers and 26 artists who contributed poetry, prose and artwork; the faculty; Elaine Lazarus, senior graphic designer in Public Relations and Marketing; and Bob Lossmann, art editor.


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.