Princeton Writes seeks to foster an environment that values and celebrates writing at its best and most diverse. Initiatives include an essay contest for members of Princeton’s academic professional, administrative, and support staffs; a celebration of student writing drawn from undergraduate publications and performance groups; dinnertime roundtables geared to undergraduates and led by authors, journalists, scholars, and other practitioners that examine the craft of writing; and a symposium on communication, Connect: Harnessing the Power of Words.

Staff Writing Contest Winners Open Windows into Their Worlds


Four Princeton staff members have been honored for their essays in the fifth annual Princeton Writes essay contest. From left, 2018-2019 honorees Anna Braverman, University Health Services; Jeff Labrecque, University Advancement; and Kira O’Brien and Gwen McNamara, Pace Center for Civic Engagement. The 2018-2019 contest inspired a record 70 submissions from 44 academic and administrative units. University staff members were invited to introduce a personal community, place or pastime and reflect on its meaning in their lives. An essay by Kira O’Brien, program coordinator at the John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement, took the Princeton Writes [...]

Staff Writing Contest Winners Open Windows into Their Worlds2019-07-03T08:50:43-04:00

Connect: Harnessing the Power of Words


“An Amazing Day” On May 2 and 3, 2019, Princeton Writes convened its first symposium on the written and spoken word, “Connect: Harnessing the Power of Words,” designed to strengthen staff communication skills and the human connections that sustain our campus. As Program Director John Weeren put it in his opening remarks, “the more we conceive of communication as relational rather than transactional and the more we subordinate the pronoun I and elevate the pronoun we, the more fruitful our exchanges will be.” Led by some of our University community’s most accomplished writers and speakers, the symposium began on May 2 with [...]

Connect: Harnessing the Power of Words2019-11-12T18:19:07-05:00

Essay Contest Winners Share Stories of Finding ‘a New Perspective’


by Adrianne Daponte for Princeton Writes Four Princeton staff members have been honored for their essays in the fourth annual Princeton Writes Prize staff essay contest. The 2017-18 contest invited University staff to describe an encounter or relationship that gave them a new perspective. Out of a record 58 submissions from staff members across 38 academic and administrative units, an essay by Dana Sheridan, education and outreach coordinator for the Cotsen Children’s Library in the Princeton University Library’s Division of Rare Books and Special Collections, took the Princeton Writes Prize. Melissa Moss, Dianne Spatafore and Carla Zimowsk received honorable mentions. During a [...]

Essay Contest Winners Share Stories of Finding ‘a New Perspective’2018-06-19T16:11:51-04:00

A Writer for All Seasons


Undergraduates are warmly invited to join Princeton Writes' 2017-2018 visiting instructor, Joe Seldner, for dinner and conversation on Wednesday, April 18, from 7:00-8:00 p.m., in Mathey College's Firestone Room (accessible from the Mathey/Rocky servery). In "Adventures from a Life in Writing: Finding Success in Journalism, Politics, and Entertainment," Seldner will share the lessons he has drawn from an eventful and eclectic career, including stints as creative director for two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks and as chief speechwriter for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. Questions he plans to explore include: Just how transferable are writing skills? Can a good journalist be a good speechwriter? [...]

A Writer for All Seasons2018-04-16T16:05:43-04:00

2017-2018 Staff Essay Contest Invites Submissions


The topic of Princeton's fourth annual staff essay contest has been announced: Describe an encounter or relationship that has given you a new perspective. Between now and February 28, members of the University's academic professional, administrative, and support staffs are invited to craft and submit an essay of between 750 and 1,250 words. Broadly conceived, this year's topic is not restricted to Princeton -- perhaps it was a grandparent who influenced the way you see the world -- or even to people -- maybe one of nature's wonders has affected you profoundly. The possibilities are legion; what matters is how clearly, [...]

2017-2018 Staff Essay Contest Invites Submissions2017-12-10T23:06:32-05:00

A Joyful Afternoon


Princeton Writes marked the successful conclusion of its third annual staff essay contest with a festive reception at Maclean House on June 12. In his remarks, program director John Weeren thanked contestants for revealing overlooked and underappreciated facets of Princeton's campus, as well as important aspects of themselves. When we write, he said, "we remove our own cloaks of invisibility, so to speak, and that demands both personal courage and faith in others." Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley offered her own congratulations before the contest's honorees were introduced. Princeton Writes Prize winner Tom Dunne and honorable mention recipients Matt [...]

A Joyful Afternoon2017-06-18T00:07:19-04:00

Staff Essay Contest Winners Reveal What Many Overlook


The 2016-2017 Princeton Writes essay contest invited University staff to share their thoughts on something they believe is overlooked or underappreciated at Princeton. Among 40 submissions across 31 academic and administrative units, four essays stood out. Tom Dunne was awarded the Princeton Writes Prize, and Matt Eaton, Jon Horowitz, and Gwen McNamara received honorable mentions. Pictured at the Princeton University Art Museum, from left, Princeton Writes Essay Contest honorees Tom Dunne, Jon Horowitz, Gwen McNamara, and Matt Eaton. Photo: David Kelly Crow. The four honorees painted a captivating picture of their “special something” at Princeton through a rich blend of original [...]

Staff Essay Contest Winners Reveal What Many Overlook2017-05-29T13:07:35-04:00

Come Celebrate!


On Thursday, April 27, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., on the stage of the Hamilton Murray Theater in Murray-Dodge Hall, Princeton Writes will celebrate the best work of nine student publications and performance groups -- from musical comedy to slam poetry to speculative fiction to visual journalism. Coinciding with Princeton Preview and open to both prospective and current students, as well as faculty and staff, these readings and performances illustrate the diversity and quality of nonacademic writing on our campus. Complimentary tickets will be available at the box office in Murray-Dodge Hall beginning at 6:15 p.m. on the night of the event. Each [...]

Come Celebrate!2017-04-26T07:35:13-04:00

Valentine’s Story Slam, February 15, 2017


Please join Princeton Writes in bringing our University community together for a night of true love stories! On February 15, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the Mathey College common room, we will host a story slam, featuring volunteer storytellers from all corners of the campus. Undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, faculty, and staff are warmly invited to leave their inhibitions at the door and share a heartwarming story with their classmates and colleagues. Professor of English William Gleason will serve as our emcee. In the spirit of The Moth and its motto, "true stories told live," we will ask each participant to tell [...]

Valentine’s Story Slam, February 15, 20172016-12-12T22:59:37-05:00

The Writers’ Room is Open


Come hide away at Princeton Writes and work on your creative writing during your lunch hour this week! We will provide a quiet space and coffee or tea. Bring something to write with and your imagination. Bring your lunch, if you like. Come enjoy some private space and unstructured time to write in the company of other creative people! When: Monday, Oct. 31-Friday, Nov. 4, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.* each day Where: Dillon Court East, Room E08 * Drop in when you can. There is no agenda, just quiet time and space to write.

The Writers’ Room is Open2016-10-31T11:29:24-04:00
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