Announcing our 2022 Arts Journalism Competition Winner

Day Eight’s is excited to announce the winner of our 13th annual Arts Journalism Competition, Georgetown University’s Francesca Theofilou. Theofilou is currently a junior, and an editor and writer for The Georgetown Voice. Day Eight produces the competition for undergraduates enrolled or recently enrolled in universities in the D.C. area to identify and support talented college age arts journalists.

The judges for the 2022 competition were Peter Marks, The Washington Post’s chief drama critic, and Sarah Marloff, The Washington City Paper’s arts editor. From a strong slate of finalists, the judges selected Theofilou’s music review, “Noah Kahan’s ‘Stick Season’ Dives Headfirst into Who We Are and Where We Come From,” as the winner. The finalists also included Zeniya Cooley (“A Dream Re-Rendered”) and Molly Szymanski (“Persistent Vision: How UMD’s Punk Collections Came to Be”). All three finalists have been published in Day Eight’s online literary journal, Bourgeon, and a $250 cash prize provided to the winner.

2022 winner Theofilou said, “Through The [Georgetown] Voice, I have been able to discover a new passion for writing, especially writing about music, and it means so much for my work to be honored by such an incredible competition.” 

Theofilou is in the second row, third from the left, in this 2022-2023 Georgetown Voice staff picture

Evaluating the winning entry, Peter Marks raved, “The depths of analysis are thoroughly entertaining. You feel you are in the hands of someone who reveals all kinds of interesting facets of [his or her] subject’s work. A fine example of music journalism. Bravo.” And Sarah Marloff commented, “Writing about music is challenging, and this writer clearly has a feel for how to approach an album review, how to describe the music and voice. It’s very compelling.”

Whether considering music or theater, visual art or books–arts journalism provides a crucial link between the artist and the audience. Well-written arts journalism is uniquely impactful, and the competition was created to encourage top young writers towards the field. 

Congratulations to the finalists and thanks to all of the students who entered. We hope you’ll read the winner’s and finalists’ pieces in Bourgeon. The contest is over for this year, but our support for arts journalism continues; we accept applications for Day Eight Arts Writing Fellowship ongoing here.