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News Release

April 9, 2018

Belcastro takes second at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention

By Hannah Brod, media relations assistant

Northwest Missouri State University student Halston Belcastro placed second in fiction writing March 24 at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Belcastro, a junior English education major from Omaha, Nebraska, is a member of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, which provided her the opportunity to attend the convention and submit a piece of her writing.

Belcastro submitted a fiction piece in the category of “other worldliness” and was accepted to present her piece, “Something about a Monster,” a fantasy about a little girl who is scared to go to bed but – unlike the common childhood fear of a monster under the bed – has a monster to protect her. 

“It was really cool to hear my name called out and everybody clapped,” Belcastro said of placing in the writing contest. “It was a shock, but it was very humbling.”

Belcastro’s advisor, Brenda Ryan, a senior instructor of English, attended the convention as well.

“I heard the title of her story, but it took a few seconds for it to sink in,” Ryan said. “The look of surprise and joy on her face was priceless.”  

The convention attracted about 220 Sigma Tau Delta chapters from throughout the world. Five Northwest students attended the convention, which provided opportunities for students to hear presentations by writers and publishers, including a copy editor of The New Yorker.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Belcastro plans to teach or pursue a master’s degree. At Northwest she is a member of the Phi Mu sorority and volunteers with Green Tower Press.

She says her involvement at Northwest has helped her gain new insights about leadership while developing friendships and building connections with faculty.

“As for the English department, it has a special place in my heart,” Belcastro said “I sensed it while on tour, that the faculty were not only knowledgeable but geared toward student learning and success. I can say wholeheartedly that each professor I have had within the English department has inspired and shaped me in some way. The experiences I have had and will continue to have for the rest of my time at Northwest, and even after, are priceless.”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215