Two students from Anne Arundel Community College achieved top honors in the League for Innovation's annual student writing competition. Zoe Hunter won the fictional short story category with her piece titled "The Hour House," while Jessie Ehrenreich's one-act play, "Sheila," earned her first place in her category.
“My reaction to winning the League for Innovation Award was shock and disbelief,” Ehrenreich said. “I honestly never thought I'd be an award-winning anything, let alone an award-winning playwright. I am absolutely honored that ‘Sheila’ took first place.”
The Student Literary Awards celebrate outstanding literary pieces from community college students across North America. This year’s competition, hosted by Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, featured 41 literary works from students at 14 league board colleges in the categories of fictional short story, one-act play, poetry and personal essay.
"This is a pretty big feather in our cap to have AACC take two out of the four categories in the contest," said Garrett Brown, professor and coordinator of creative writing.
Both winners will receive a cash prize and certificate of merit, and their works will be published in the league's Student Literary Competition publication. Additionally, Hunter and Ehrenreich will be featured in a student reading at AACC later this year.
The jurors for this year’s Student Literary Awards included Taslim Jaffer (Personal Essay), Katherine Barrett (Fictional Short Story), Preeti Kaur Dhaliwal (Poetry) and Jan Sims (One-Act Play).
The competition's theme, "spaces of belonging," inspired students to explore this concept and express their full, true selves through their writing. The jurors were particularly impressed by the participants' ability to connect personal experiences to broader themes, create compelling and complex characters and evoke emotion through vivid imagery.
Anne Arundel Community College will host the 2025-2026 competition.