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The Vermillion Literary Project (VLP) is the proud recipient of the Award for Academic Excellence from the Board of Regents of South Dakota! We received this award for the wide variety of literary activities we host on campus and in the community.  In addition to a yearly writer's festival, the literary project publishes a literary journal each year that features work contributed by students at the U and the public. 

Only one Award for Academic Excellence is bestowed upon a student organization at USD each year.  The VLP won the award in 1997, 2003, 2006, and 2009.

It's not just the Board of Regents who recognizes the VLP as a great organization. Check out these testimonials from students at USD!

"Being able to be a part of putting together a literary magazine from start to finish is an awesome experience.  I have also always enjoyed open-mic nights -- getting up there to share your own writings and listening to others at the open-mic nighs is a blast.  There is nothing else on campus that compares to being a part of the VLP!"

          -- Kimberly Raaphorst, USD English Education graduate

"My first real brush with the Vermillion Literary Project was way back in the fall of my freshman year, at the annual short story contest.  I entered it just for kicks, really. I had a lot of fun, and put together an airtight story."

"The next night, I was shocked to learn that I had won the thing.  Listening to Josh Smith read my story on the radio.  That really set the tone for my experience with the VLP."

          -- Elliot T. Harmon, USD English graduate

"The VLP has provided me with many wonderful opportunities to hone my public speaking skills.  By hosting a weekly radio show and a monthly poetry reading, I have been able to become very comfortable speaking in front of crowds.  In addition to the joy of hosting these events, I've also developed a set of skills that I will use for the rest of my life"

          -- Joshua Smith, USD graduate majoring in computer science, philosophy, and English

"The VLP isn't just for English majors; I'm in the chemistry department.  The VLP allowed me to add different dimensions to my college career.  I also got to meet some wonderful people that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.  And the VLP allowed me to express myself through poetry and art in a way that I couldn't in science."

          -- Kristy Wilson, USD chemistry graduate

"What I have enjoyed the most while working as part of the VLP team is hosting the open-mic that's free to the public at the Coffee Shop Gallery downtown."

"I have hosted many of these readings and found, first of all, that it was a great deal of fun.  Also, many students have told me that it helped them to get over the fear of standing in front of other people."

"If you're a poet or writer who reads one of your works, it is amazing how different that work sounds spoken out loud to other people.  I have learned to use reading to vastly improve my own writing!"

          -- Ellen Ryan, non-traditional English graduate from Sioux City

"Although I was new to USD and unfamiliar with campus organizations, last fall, I found a friendly, self-motivated writing-based group in the members of the Vermillion Literary Project."

          -- Stephanie Lawyer, English M.A. student and one-time VLP magazine editor-in-chief