Mid-October deadline for Skyway Writers Competition and Festival approaches


Gabriela Krieger, Editor-in-Chief

Skyway Writers Competition and Festival is a unique opportunity for writers, essayists, and poets to share their literary work and receive feedback from professionals– but interested artists should act quickly, because the deadline looms this Monday, Oct. 17. 

Oakton will be participating alongside Elgin Community College, College of Lake County, McHenry County College, Moraine Valley Community College, Morton College, Prairie State College, and Waubonsee Community College. 

Each college puts forth eight finalists who then carry on to compete against one another. First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from writers within four literary genres: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama. 

Danielle Aquiline and Tina Fakhrid-Deen have been helping Oakton students submit their work to Skyway since 2013. “In past years, Oakton students have done really well,” said Danielle Aquiline, Skyway Coordinator and Oakton Literary Magazine leader. “We have placed almost every year I’ve participated. In the last five years, we’ve won first place in poetry, and last year, we won in two categories.” 

2021’s competition boasted the wins of two Oakton students, Nicole Bim in the Drama category and Matt Sharp in Creative Fiction. “Judges are looking for students who have a strong voice, a unique perspective, and are submitting writing that says something important,” said Aquiline. 

Skyway’s festivities include workshops held by professional writers, who are also the competition judges. This year’s conference will be held at Waubsonsee College. Every year these colleges bring in professional writers who host workshops that students can attend to get advice on their craft.

For winners and non-winners alike, Skyway writing workshops are free for any Oakton student who chooses to attend. However, please RSVP by emailing Danielle Aquiline by Oct. 24. Transport from the Des Plaines campus to these workshops is also provided. 

The benefits of participating are countless. “For anyone who wants to do writing professionally, either now or after their college career, submitting your work is going to be a critical part to getting your name out there and gaining notoriety,” said Aquiline. “Whether you’re submitting to local newspapers, magazines, or publishing houses, the process of preparing creative work for a jury to scrutinize is a valuable skill for any writer.”

There is also a social benefit to submitting an entry and attending these workshops. “Any group of students who have a shared interest in writing generally form a tight-knit community. It can be a great way to share your work, get feedback, and socialize with people who are interested in the same thing as you,” said Aquiline. 

The annual Skyway Writers Competition and Festival is a unique opportunity for writers to step out of their comfort zone and share their creative craft with the world. If anything, this competition will allow students to strengthen their imaginative and literary skills by editing a piece of their own creation. 

The submission deadline is Monday, Oct. 17, and all pieces should be submitted to [email protected]  as an edited Word document. Please contact Danielle Aquiline at with any submissions or questions. 


Submission Guidelines: 

Fiction: 5000 word maximum 

Nonfiction: 5000 word maximum

Drama: 5000 word maximum 

Poetry: three page maximum, with one poem per page