The Writing Center@PVCC

Girl by computer with logo

English 111 Personal Essay Contest

writing center essay contest

The Writing Center is sponsoring a personal essay contest! We invite all students who are currently taking English 111 or who took English 111 in spring or summer 2019 to submit their personal essays to our contest. This contest is in memory of former PVCC Writing Center tutor Walt Kehoe, who passed away this October. Walt enjoyed hearing the stories of students from all walks of life, from all over the world, and he loved working with students to get their stories out in the world.

A personal essay tells a true story from the person's life. Your teacher may have called it a "personal narrative." Winners may be considered for the PVCC Literary Magazine, The Fall Line.

Here are the contest rules:

  • All submissions must be written for English 111 classes in 2019--that is spring 2019, summer 2019, or fall 2019.
  • Submissions are due by Friday, Nov. 1 at 11:59 pm. Submissions must be submitted electronically, via this link: ENG 111 Personal Essay Contest 2019. All submissions must be personal. They should tell a true story from your life.
  • Participants must be current PVCC students.
  • Winners will be selected anonymously by Writing Center staff.
  • Entries are limited to 1 per student. Late entries, or those which exceed the word limit (1,000 word maximum), will not be accepted.
  • Entries should be in rtf. or docx. format.
  • Prizes will be awarded to three winners.

Questions? Email Jenny Koster

Our Mission

The Writing Center @ PVCC supports student success by offering writing assistance across the disciplines, as well as tutoring in humanities, social sciences, and language courses, utilizing research based practices. We prepare students for placement tests and improve the conversational language skills of English learners. Our mission is achieved by:

  • Reinforcing that strong writing skills are valuable across the curriculum and are essential in many fields of study and in the workplace;
  • Emphasizing that writing is a process, which develops writing skills and instills confidence in students;
  • Understanding the diversity of students’ needs and adapting our approach to meet those needs;
  • Providing tutoring sessions that are available by walk-in or appointment to maximize accessibility to all students;
  • Offering a welcoming, diverse staff engaged in continual professional development; and
  • Developing a sense of community through a collaborative environment.

We work to help PVCC students strengthen their writing skills in any discipline. Come to The Writing Center at any stage of the writing process to:

  • Discuss how or where to begin an assignment
  • Get help finishing a draft
  • Begin revising a draft or receive feedback on a complete draft
  • Learn tips for proofreading
  • Discuss your instructor's comments

Schedule an Appointment or Drop By

To meet with a writing tutor, you may simply come to the front desk in The Writing Center to see if a tutor is available. To schedule an appointment, you can drop by the center, call our front desk at 434.961.5499, or schedule an appointment through our online system, TutorTrac. Step-by-step instructions are here

Online Tutoring--Introducing Brainfuse!

PVCC partners with Brainfuse to provide tutoring in most subjects taught at PVCC. Brainfuse's Writing Lab allows you to submit your writing and receive feedback in less than 24 hours. Brainfuse also offers live tutoring in writing, as well as many other subjects. Brainfuse is available in all of your courses in Canvas; a link is in the left-hand menu. It will also be available through the MyPVCC portal. Instructions to use Brainfuse's Writing Lab are here. The Brainfuse user guide is here. You are allotted 10 hours of tutoring in Brainfuse per semester; a writing submission takes 35 of those minutes. You're encouraged to bring your Brainfuse feedback to the Writing Center if you'd like to additional assistance.

Meet Our Tutors

Our tutors come from a variety of backgrounds. You can learn a little about them by reading their profiles available here.

Instructional Videos

These short videos are designed to help with common, challenging writing tasks.


Organize and Plan Your Essay

Revise and Proofread Your Essay



Cite and Research Your Essay

Grammar and ESL




Writing Intensive Courses (WIC)




Writing Under Pressure


Writing Resource Handbook





    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some helpful Web sites for writing?

    Two great general resources are:

    What are some helpful Web sites for grammar and punctuation?

    What are some helpful Web sites for writing paper citations?