David Reyes Essay Contest

Get published! Win cash for your excellent writing!Picture of David Reyes

The First-Year Writing Program in the Department of English invites students who took English 1005a in Fall 2019 to submit an essay to the David Reyes Essay Contest. In keeping with David’s dedication to underserved and often underprepared “developmental” writing students, we will be limiting submissions to students who enrolled in Engl 1005a in the Fall of 2019.​

The David Reyes Essay Contest aims to acknowledge and reward excellent writing from students enrolled in ENGL 1005A. If you fell that you wrote exemplary writing in your Engl 1005a course, then please consider submitting your essay in the contest.

The deadline for essay submissions is Friday, April 17, 2020. All submissions will be evaluated by the English Department Composition Committee, which plans to award cash prizes for the top three essays.

We plan to begin collecting selected essays for possible online publication in an end-of-the-year anthology of student writing from the stretch writing program.


David Reyes was a well-respected and much beloved member of the English Department of California State University, Los Angeles, through the summer of 2014. For two decades, first as a graduate student and then, having received his Master of Arts degree, as a lecturer, he taught composition courses. He specialized in helping first-year students, and during his career thousands of them improved their writing skills, enabling them to reach their academic goals, and preparing them for careers, to make positive changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. 

An appreciator of good writing and a lover of books, David Reyes was extremely dedicated to teaching and displayed infinite patience with both the people on his class roster and the people in his department. He spent many hours holding individual conferences with students so that he could give them personal attention, which was often the key to helping them over the hurdles that had prevented them from succeeding in a course. He devoted enormous amounts of time just to listening, to students and colleagues. He knew they needed to be heard. He made the human connection with students and made them feel welcome. He was generous in sharing his knowledge, steady and solid in times of trouble. 

As students and colleagues, we were fortunate to encounter a person who led by example to show us what a human being can be. The ripple waves of his generosity of spirit will be felt for years to come in the impact he had on people. To memorialize his accomplishments, the Cal State LA Department of English has established the David Reyes Essay Contest. 

Upload your essay here. You may upload Word or pdf files no larger than 10mb. Please include your name and contact information at the top of your essay.
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