Writing Awards

Each year, the Writing Program recognizes the best essay written for WRI 1000 and for WRI 1100 with the Rauer and Hedges Awards.

The WRI 1000 Rauer Award is named in honor of Ruthanna Rauer, Dr. Moe's sixth grade teacher. Every exam she gave was an essay exam, as Mrs. Rauer believed students must write to learn, whatever the subject matter, her pedagogy aligning so well with what both WRI 1000 and 1100 teach.

The WRI 1100 Hedges award is named in honor of Richard Hedges, who graduated from Seattle Pacific College and then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in counseling. Dr. Hedges worked for decades as a wise and effective clinical psychologist, and was a fine athlete, scholar, and supporter of SPU.  He co-founded the Friends of the Library endowment and contributed generously to it.

Together, these awards celebrate students and their writing, the teachers teaching them to do it, and the teachers who taught those teachers.


Submissions for each award are accepted every spring, from week seven through week nine.  Essays must have been written within the previous academic year.   Entries can be emailed to Dr. Peter Moe.  Awards are given the following fall.  The award ceremony includes the annual "How I Learned to Write" keynote address.  In the address, a member of the SPU faculty reflects on their life as a writer, key moments in their education, key figures and teachers along the way, and important lessons learned about writing and about life.

Winners of the Rauer Award

2018, First Place: Marissa Lordahl, for her essay "He Did, She Did: An Examination of Reparations," written for Dr. Traynor Hansen's winter 2018 section of WRI 1000

2018, Honorable Mention: Lydia Helt, for her essay "Ignorance: Bliss or Blindness: A Response to the Effects of Knowledge as Discussed in Materialism: A Fable by Alfred Döblin," written for Dr. Mischa Willett's fall 2017 section of WRI 1000

"How I Learned to Write" Speakers

2018, Dr. Eric Long, Professor of Biology