Luther Students Journey to Denver, Colorado, as Part of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society


Luther students at the Sigma Tau Delta conference in Denver, March 30, 2023: Grace James, Addie Craig, Ethan Kober, Scott Rust, Amy Webb, Anastasia Baldus, Mia Irving, Reagan Anania, and Clara Wodny. Photo courtesy of Martin Klammer.

A flight to Denver, Colorado. A critical piece of writing. A presentation to a room full of people you might not know. A group of new friends. One memorable and amazing experience. From March 29 to April 1, a group of eleven Luther students, accompanied by Professor of English Martin Klammer, represented the Luther chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, and presented at the Sigma Tau Delta convention in Denver, Colorado. The number included the intrepid author currently writing this article. 

The submission process to the 2023 Sigma Tau Delta Convention began in late fall of 2022, and by the end of October 31, Luther students had sent off their best papers, creative or critical, to be judged by Honors Society readers. Personally, when I submitted a critical piece to the Sigma Tau Delta Convention, I had no real idea what I was in for. In fact, I didn’t think my paper was going to get accepted, let alone that I would be able to go to a convention in Colorado. Nonetheless, something that my peers, like Grace James (’23), who has been a member of Sigma Tau Delta at Luther since 2021, reiterated time and time again was the necessity of taking chances. 

“Always throw your hat into the ring,” James said. “Give it a shot, the worst thing that they can say is ‘no’. That’s the worst possible case scenario, and it’s not that bad; I’ve been rejected from submitting my work to places before, and it hurts, but you move on, and you try again. If the worst they can say is no, then you might as well try it. It’s always going to give you more experience no matter what.” 

The convention itself was a whirlwind of events, from editing and publishing workshops, keynote speakers, to a bad poetry night. Of course, for the eleven of us, the central component to the convention was presenting our work. Presenting in front of peers from across the country and around the world, some of whom might have had master’s degrees, might sound like an intimidating enterprise. However, as Scott Rust (‘24), who has been a part of Sigma Tau Delta at Luther since the spring of 2022, notes, the experience was important.

“It wasn’t as nerve-racking as a class presentation, because you could just read your paper,” Rust said. “You didn’t have to have anything memorized. I had a pretty small audience at my panel, which also made it a little less nerve-racking. It was good to be in the company of other English people.”

These experiences are important. Though it can be easy to look at academia and wonder why we do this, why we go about learning. We must keep our eyes on the goal. Conventions like these allow us as students to learn and to move forward with purpose. Taking inspiration and knowledge into the world allows us to rethink the world. That can be said of any learning—whether done at Luther college or in the mile high city. Nonetheless, a change in location and perspective can cement the learning we do. 

The purpose of opportunities like this convention, to Anastasia Baldus (’23), who has been a part of Sigma Tau Delta at Luther since 2022, is to gain confidence and skills to take forward anywhere, in writing or otherwise.

“You should definitely seek out any opportunity that you think of,” Baldus said. “Imposter syndrome is not strictly in one place or another. There’s got to be a point where you have to think that everyone has that mutual fear about submitting something, especially to a convention. So if you want to write a paper, write the paper. Writing is a collaboration, it is a collaborative effort, you are supposed to be able to get comments to improve; nothing comes out perfect.”

If you would like to get more information about Sigma Tau Delta at Luther, as well as who to reach out to, visit the website