December 11, 2019

Kish students win awards through literary magazine competition

The 2019 edition of Kishwaukee College’s literary & arts magazine Kamelian was submitted to the regional Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) central division for consideration in their literary magazine contest. Three students won individual awards through CCHA for their Kamelian entries: Josef McKee, Earlville, Carley Anne Ackland, Rochelle and Katelyn Ackland, Rochelle.

Josef McKee won first place in Best Essay for “Canis Lupus.” The essay was originally composed as part of his English composition class. His professor encouraged him to submit the essay to Kamelian. Josef is working on his associate degree and plans to graduate from Kish in Spring 2020. He intends to transfer to Southern Illinois University to study zoology.

Carley Anne Ackland received second place in Best Short Story for “Close Encounters.” She wrote the short story for an assignment in her creative writing class with Associate Professor Ami Irmen. Carley will graduate this fall with her associate degree and intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in creative writing or English at Northern Illinois University.

Katelyn Ackland took second place in Best Photography for “Jewel Tip.” The winning photo captures a goose feather in a pond during the early morning. “I think art and humanities are important because they help show other people what’s inside you. It gives them another perspective,” Katelyn says. The photo is the cover of the 2019 Kamelian.

“I continue to be impressed at the level of excellence Kishwaukee students rise to in the humanities,” said Associate Professor of English and Kamelian faculty advisor Nate Gordon. “While we don't always have students place at the regional level, I am regularly delighted at the yearly submissions and proud of the work these students produce.”

Submissions for Kamelian are currently being accepted now through January 31. Current Kish students and students who took classes within the past academic year are eligible to submit. 

An excerpt from McKee’s first place essay “Canis Lupus” 
The American wilds had long been untouched. Life bloomed in nature as it had for hundreds of years. Yellowstone National Park had an ecosystem so healthy and unique, it was a land of pure beauty. The lush mountainsides whispered with songs from the trees in the wind. Waves of grass crashed like a reckless sea against the prairies. The rivers flowed through the same land as they did every day.

An excerpt from Carley Anne Ackland’s second place short story “Close Encounters”
People these days, they think if we pretend nothing happened, it never happened. That’s fine for them, but then it might creep up on us again. I always hope that I’m dead before the next world war, then I’m twisted with terrible guilt. But what can I do? I’m practically as blind as a bat. War will do that to you. My hearing’s also useless whenever I forget to charge my battery, like today. It was good until about eleven p.m., and then nothing.

To read the pieces in full or to view Katelyn Ackland’s winning photo, please visit

Pictured: Kishwaukee College students Josef McKee, Earlville, Carley Anne Ackland, Rochelle and Katelyn Ackland, Rochelle, won regional literary and art awards from the Community College Humanities Association for their submissions in Kish’s 2019 literary & arts journal Kamelian. Photo 1: Katelyn Ackland.  Photo 2: L to R Carley Anne Ackland and Josef McKee.