Tunxis Community College student Keith Dauch of Newington was one of five community college student finalists chosen for The Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Awards for Creative Nonfiction.
The competition, which is co-sponsored by the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and the National Council of Teachers of English, drew hundreds of submissions from across the country in four-year college, community college, and high school student writing categories.
“It is an amazing feeling to get recognition that I have a talent in this area,” said Dauch, who was encouraged to enter the competition by his mentor Susan Gentry, Tunxis assistant professor of English. “I am deeply honored to have been chosen as one of the top finalists to compete for this award, and thankful for all of my professors at Tunxis who have helped me along the way in making the decision to focus my efforts on writing.”
“Damaged,” the six-page creative nonfiction work Dauch submitted, was inspired by his deployment to Bosnia in 1995 during the Bosnian War as a paratrooper with the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. “It changed me,” said Dauch of his experience and the emotions that followed the peacekeeping mission. “The opposing sides had complete disregard for human life,” he added. “The level of destruction and devastation was overwhelming.”
Dauch’s work and those of four other community college student finalists were judged by a panel of distinguished authors in choosing the winner.
Dauch won a television commercial writing competition at Tunxis in 2008 and plans to enter several other writing competitions soon. He hopes to eventually publish his work.
Tunxis Community College, which first opened for classes in October 1970, is celebrating its 40th year of service to the community. From fine arts, health, and technology to liberal arts & sciences programs, Tunxis offers almost 60 associate’s degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington. Visit Tunxis on the Internet at tunxis.commnet.edu.