Every year BMCU offers a writing contest to its students in order to encourage and reward excellent writing in both personal and academic pursuits. The Mountain Breeze creative writing contest has several different categories of writing that it accepts. In an email, Dr. Connor Fisher lists one-act play, creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, devotion, and visual art as the Mountain Breeze categories. Additionally, students are encouraged to submit work to the Academic Essay contest. Each of the Mountain Breeze categories offers cash prizes for the winners.
The focus of the Mountain Breeze creative writing contest is to foster a pursuit of writing in students. Peyton Mansfield, first place winner in the devotion category, states that he “writes because [he] thinks it’s an effective way to communicate.” Similarly, Josiah Putnam, first place winner of the academic essay contest, states, “I enjoy expressing my thoughts in writing. Writing allows me do something concrete with my ideas that can hopefully contribute to society.” The Mountain Breeze competition contributes to BMCU’s goal of growing academic and spiritual excellence by encouraging students to become proficient writers and allow others to view their work. As both Mansfield and Putnam noted, communicating well and being able to articulately present ideas to others are important aspects of achieving these goals.
The Mountain Breeze competition does more than just foster excellence in writing, however. It also has an art category, where student artists can share their work. Similar to its other creative categories, the goal of the competition in its art category is to encourage students in their artistic endeavors and give them the opportunity to showcase their work. Ashley Villanueva, first place winner in the art category, states that “[art] allows me to get to know myself better and grows my confidence.” The Mountain Breeze competition uses the first-place piece as the cover art for its yearly publication.
The Mountain Breeze competition also gives students the opportunity to expand work written for a specific class or to give it meaning in a new context. Michael Hamilton, first place winner in the fiction category, states that his piece “was originally written as an assignment for Connor Fisher’s Intro to Creative Writing class, but [he] enjoyed the story so much that [he] decided to submit it for the competition.” The contest also allows students to discuss experiences gained outside of the classroom. Logan Atkins, first place winner in the poetry category, states "what really inspires me to write […] is my past and the memories I have made throughout the years. I can pull so much inspiration from them…” The Mountain Breeze contest encourages students to apply the creative skills they have learned in the classroom to their personal lives and experiences, preparing them to do the same in the work and mission field.
Winners of the Mountain Breeze creative writing contest are Bella Jumper, Alaina Wilder, Madison Jasper, Carsen Enlow Meeks, Sarah Martindale, Michael Hamilton, Logan Atkins, Peyton Mansfield, Lauren Milford, Ashley Villanueva, Baleigh Bray, and Josiah Putnam.