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High School Creative Writing Competition

The Competition

Each year the Humanities department presents a high school creative writing competition, seminar, and awards program. The competition is open to high school seniors and juniors, and it is designed to allow junior and senior high school students the opportunity to share their creativity through the writing of fiction – poetry and short stories, and the writing of non fiction- expository and argumentative essays. The best submissions are published in the journal, Unto These Hills.

The work that shows exceptional quality, talent, and creativity in a given area of competition is selected winner of that genre. The winner of the overall competition the-Grand Winner- is given a plaque and awarded a one year scholarship to Walters State Community College.


The seminar provides a variety of workshop opportunities for both students and teachers.


Students whose works are selected for publication are invited to attend a one day seminar.There are two sessions of fifty minutes each. Each student selects one workshop from each fifty minute session. Workshop topics may range from "Poetry Form- Match Look to Content" to "Haiku-d¬¬¬õ: The Martial Art of Economy" to "Nick Of Time- Adaptations of History to Dramatic Form."


Teachers attend a workshop geared to their interests. The workshops may be designed to address the needs of their students as soon to be college students, the needs of the teachers and focus on their own creative work, or workshops may serve as an opportunity for the establishment of dialogue through the free exchange of ideas regarding teaching style.

We encourage all junior and senior high school students to participate. For additional information please call us at 423-585-6922.

The English Award

A candidate must have . . .

  1. completed a minimum of nine hours of English, excluding writing lab credit.
    1. Since nine hours in English (6 hours of composition and 3 hours of literature) are recognized as the minimum requirement, students are encouraged to have more credit hours than the minimum. Other course credits could be in literature, creative writing, folklore, or technical writing.
  2. completed English course work under a minimum of two full-time WSCC instructors
  3. compiled at least a 3.5 GPA in English at WSCC

English Writing Award Winners

2006 Regina Wood & Danielle Harrell
2005 Travis E. Sharpe
2004 Kent Erickson
2003 Erika L. Hagy
2002 Mary Evelyn Smith
2001 Abbey Mabe
2000 Chris Gaby & Scott Underwood
1999 Sara Fultz
1998 Susan Woodard
1997 Maureen Ann Mooney
1996 Catherine M. Fisher
1995 D. Michael Williams
1994 Jennifer Hartsell
1993 Monica Anfinson
1992 D. Alexander Adams, III & Jimmie R. Hollifield, Jr.
1990 Scott D. Vaughn
1989 Patricia Bowers & Deborah Hommel
1988 Mary Messer
1987 Tammy Elkins
1986 Gayle Campbell & Teresa Franklin
1985 Richard Hill & Stephen Page
1984 Jeffrey Fox & Connie Shelton
1983 Eric McDowell
1982 Dudley Holt & Darryl Fannon
1981 Carole Thomason & Sharon Byrd
1980 Nancy Borntrager, Jackie Bailey & Lynda Rolen
1979 Terri Shultz & Joy Wolfe
1978 Kay Thomas & Tish Osborne

Creative Writing Award Winners

2006 Regina Wood
2005 Regina Wood & Yolanda Chrystal Meeker
2004 Travis Sharpe
2003 Mary Evelyn Smith
2002 Diane Cleghorn
2001 Nicole Sliger
2000 Kim Honeycutt & Barbara Horton
1999 Hubert "Liam" Pugh
1998 Susan Woodard
1997 Maureen Ann Mooney & John Taylor Testerman
1996 Jeffery Scott McAfee
1995 D. Michael Williams
1994 Jennifer Hartsell & Gregory Hatfield
1993 Deborah D. Wilhoit
1992 Janet Gayle Jewell & Shannon Grady McDowell
1991 Faye Burchfield & Jeanne Peer
1990 Scott D. Vaughn
1989 Catherian Weber Payne & Scott D. Vaughn
1988 Pauline Copeland
1987 Tammy Elkins & Leslie Waldrup


English Department Statement of Purpose

The English Department offers an Associate of Arts degree in English, which is university parallel. The coursework transfers to senior colleges and universities for students who pursue baccalaureate degrees.

The purpose of the English discipline is to teach students to think critically, write effectively, and develop sensibilities to the literary tradition of the Western world through offerings in composition and literature. The discipline emphasizes language skills and the literary arts.

The English Department is committed to providing instruction which will prepare students who wish to continue their studies at four-year colleges or universities and other students who may be starting careers. Recognizing the wide spectrum of students who attend community colleges and their varying learning styles, the department strives to be flexible in its delivery of instruction. Courses are offered at a variety of locations (including branch campuses) and times (including week-ends) in an effort to accommodate students who frequently have demanding schedules outside of their academic work.

The English Department is also committed to the use of the latest technology in its instructional program. Several courses can be taken by Internet or through videostreaming. Furthermore, to insure that our graduates develop or polish the communication skills that employers are seeking in addition to their technical expertise, students have access to a Writing Lab, equipped with networked computers.

The English Department also demonstrates its commitment to good writing by sponsoring the annual publication of Gallery, an award-winning literary magazine, and the annual Creative Writing Competition for high school students, which culminates in another publication, Among These Hills.

Other innovative approaches for serving the students and the community include dual enrollment classes for advanced high school students, service learning projects linking college students with elementary school students, and courses for the Talented and Gifted Program serving fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Courses offered include basic composition, creative writing, technical writing, surveys of American and Western world literature, children's literature, and folklore.

Communication Department Statement of Purpose

Because communication skills are necessary for our daily lives, improving our skills as communicators allows us to improve the quality of our lives. Effective interpersonal relationships, success in business and profession, and meaningful participation in our democratic society are all based on effectiveness in communication. The goals of the Department of Communication are as follows:

  1. To provide all Walters State students with training in basic oral communication skills.
  2. To provide all students with communication skills needed to perform effectively in business and professional settings.
  3. To provide all students with communication skills needed for effective interpersonal communication.
  4. To provide students with the skills needed to analyze and debate current societal issues.

Music and Theatre Department Statement of Purpose

Walters State offers Associate of Arts degrees in music, music education, and theatre. These programs are university parallel programs, and the coursework is transferable to senior college and universities for students in pursuit of baccalaureate degrees. Both music majors and non-majors are offered the opportunity of involvement in a performing ensemble. The Concert Choir, Community Chorale, and Sensations Ensemble are available to vocalists, and instrumentalists can be involved in the jazz band and/or symphonic band. Each of these ensembles offers academic credit of one hour per semester.

Professional Entertainment Program Statement of Purpose

The Professional Entertainment Program is offered at the Walters State Community College Sevier County Campus. It is adistinctive, premier training program for students wishing to enter the field of entertainment. The program offers performance opportunities; internship opportunities; coursework that allows students to articulate to a four year institution in music or theatre; the opportunity to work with professionals who work in the field of entertainment; and a curriculum designed specifically for those wishing to work in the entertainment industry.

Walters State offers the Associate of Science degree in Professional Entertainment Performance and Professional Entertainment Stage Management/Technician. These programs are university parallel programs and coursework is transferable to senior institutions for students who pursue a baccalaureate degree.

Both PEP majors and non-majors are offered the opportunity to become involved in a performing ensemble. The Sevier County Campus offers a concert choir open to all singers. In addition, the campus offers "On Our Own," an a cappella ensemble open by audition only for vocalists. "Backbeat" is an audition only ensemble offered for those who are singer/dancers/actors. This is a professional level ensemble made up of students. "Backbeat" currently provides a USO Show as the signature event for the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. The Sevier County campus also offers a jazz band to instrumentalists, as well as private lessons available to those who sing or play in an ensemble.