Second Annual MU Undergraduate Runners Up

Just like last year, we were fortunate to receive a number of outstanding works for our University of Missouri Undergraduate Writing Competition.

In addition to this year’s winner, Annalee Roustio, we’d like to acknowledge three other talented undergraduate writers:

  • Darren Baker for his incisive poem, “New Old Game”
  • Gabrielle Hesse for her tragic piece ,”The Weight You Borrow”
  • Alyssa Ripley for her brisk yet intimate poem, “Bargaining”

If you want to hear these works, join us for a reading on December 5th, at 5:00 p.m. in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery.

Thanks again to Jeff Wasserboehr for judging the competition.

Winner of the 2nd Annual MU Undergraduate Writing Competition

We are proud to announce that Annalee Roustio is the winner of the 2nd Annual MU Undergraduate LED Writing competition!

Annalee is in her third year at MU, where she studies English and plans to declare a second major in French. She’s a tutor and outreach representative for the campus Writing Center, a copywriter at Marketing by Emma, and an intern for the poetry division of Persea Books. In terms of future plans, beyond traveling to AWP this spring with Persea Books and hopefully studying abroad this summer, Annalee has begun exploring MFA programs. She should probably complete her personal website. Until then, feel free to add her on LinkedIn; her brief (and with luck, ever-growing!) smattering of publications and prizes can be found there. Special thanks to Rebecca Pelky for her helpful feedback and encouragement.

Our judge, Jeff Wasserboehr, selected Analee’s moving, contemplative poem, “Ether” for publication on our scrolling LED display.

You can hear Annalee read “Ether” at on December 5th, at 5:00 p.m. in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, and you can read it yourself anytime in December on the display outside the gallery.

We’re very grateful to all the MU students who shared their writing with us as well as the instructors who encouraged their students to do so. Thank you!

MU Undergraduate Reading Event

We moved on to our next installation, Sonnet (51) by Nikki Wallschlaeger, without posting any photos from the wonderful reading and poster-printing event that wrapped up our MU Undergraduate Writing Competition. So, in the spirit of better late than never, we’ve finally organized some images to share!

Click the images to read the captions. Not pictured is runner-up Sabrina Brons, who read her piece, “Gossip.” The first gallery features images from the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, where the reading was held. The second set of images is from SRLBX x THERETHERENOW, where we held a reception with refreshments, a reading room stocked full of artist’s books and zines, and a poster-printing session for Kirstin Smith’s broadside (the contest’s publication prize).

Introducing Our Contest Judges

Now that we’ve congratulated our winner and runners up, it’s time to say thanks to the two fabulous readers who judged the entries for the 2018 undergraduate competition. We are so grateful that Jordi Alonso and Anna Wehrwein made time for our contest amid the demands of writing and art-making and teaching!

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Jordi Alonso graduated with an AB in English from Kenyon College in 2014 and was the first Turner Fellow in Poetry at Stony Brook University where he received his MFA. He is the Gus T. Ridgel Fellow in English at the University of Missouri where he is a PhD candidate studying the cultural transmission of nymphs in literature. He’s been published in Kenyon Review Online, Noble/Gas QtrlyRoanoke ReviewLevure Littéraire, and other journals. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017.


Anna Wehrwein is an artist originally from the Boston area. She received her BS in Art and BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Tennessee. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and Friend of the Artist and has been exhibited nationally. During the summer of 2017 she was a resident at Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives in Columbia, MO where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Missouri.

MU Undergraduate Runners Up

Yesterday, we introduced our winning writer, Kirstin Smith.

We also have some talented runners up to acknowledge:

  • Sabrina Brons for her story, “Gossip”
  • Sabrina Heffern for her story, “On the Wings of Her Fledglings”
  • Kelly Schoessling for her story, “Is it Distance or Space?”

They have also been invited to share their submissions at our reading event at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building on the MU Campus on Tuesday, February 27th at 5:00 p.m.

Stick around after to celebrate at SRLBX x THERETHERENOW (206 Hitt St.) and enjoy snacks, refreshments, and art.

Winner of the MU Undergraduate Juried Writing Competition

We are proud to announce that Kirstin Smith is the winner of the 2018 MU Undergraduate Juried Writing competition!

Our judges, Jordi Alonso and Anna Wehrwein, chose Kirstin’s intense work of flash fiction, “Milk Carton Faces.”

Kirstin Smith is a sophomore at the University of Missouri, majoring in Biology and minoring in Anthropology. Her writing career began at a young age with successes such as being published in the Young Authors chronicle with many other aspiring writers as a fifth grader. From there, she devoted many hours to writing hundreds of fan stories of the DC universe, Batman specifically, and amassed nearly 500 works by her junior year of high school. She continues writing in her free time to cope with depression and aims to one day help others with her words.

You can read “Milk Carton Faces” any time at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery or SRLBX x THERETHERENOW.

Better yet, you can hear Kirstin read her work at our reading event at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building on the MU Campus on Tuesday, February 27th at 5:00 p.m.

After the reading, we’ll carry on celebrating with an after party at SRLBX x THERETHERENOW (207 Hitt St.) Stop by for refreshments and art!

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