October 20, 2020

To our USC Freshman students,

This isn’t what you imagined your first semester of college would be like. Thinking, researching, building connections with peers and mentors—you’ve done all of this from across the world, rather than across campus. Because of how historic this is, we want to offer the opportunity for you to share your experiences, and hear about others. Our Freshman Colloquium, “Together Apart,” invites you to join the conversation through sharing an original paper or creative work you’ve done this fall and a video presentation of that work.
This might be a paper you wrote for a course, or a new work that draws inspiration from one of the categories described below. Your video and paper will be posted online, where it will be seen by members of the faculty and your peers, and shared with family and guests. Authors of selected papers will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual, synchronous panel discussion with faculty members and peers.

Benefits of participation include:

  • Public showcase: Share your work with family and friends
  • Panel discussion sessions: Build community with faculty and peers through discussion of your work
  • Awards to recognize the best and most popular work

Eligibility & Registration
Entrants must be current first-year students at USC. You may enter one work done this fall and are eligible for one prize for your participation. Your entry will compete against other similar works. You must also be able to attend the Synchronous Discussion Session to maintain eligibility for prize consideration. You might draw inspiration from one of the following submission types as you consider your entry:

  • Essays in Ethics or Moral Reasoning: How do we cope with conflict, dilemmas, or challenges and decide how to act? These papers treat difficult choices and decide what ought to be done.
  • Analytical Essays: Have you reconsidered established truths or institutions this semester? Has exposure to new knowledge, media or works of art introduced you to new perspectives? These essays question– or further–inherited concepts through analysis, close reading, argumentation, or new research.
  • Creative Work: What has the experience of learning apart been like for you? Personal narratives, short stories, screenplays, collections of poetry, scripts for performance art, one-act plays, or multimedia submissions are welcome.

Submissions must adhere to the following format parameters:

  • 1 written submission: 8 pages double-spaced maximum, Word (.doc or .docx) preferred. If submitting poetry or screenwriting, double-spacing isn’t required.
  • 1 video submission: A video of you presenting your work, posted to YouTube or Vimeo, with a link submitted to the Colloquium. The video may run for 5 minutes maximum.
  • Submissions must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, October 30, 2020.


For more information, click here

Published on October 20th, 2020

Last updated on October 20th, 2020