Marquette sophomore Becky Miller became the youngest writer ever to take home the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction. Miller won the prize with her brave, original article for The Odyssey Online, entitled “An Open Letter to the Building Where I Met my Sorority Big As Told by Bachelor in Paradise Gifs.”
The article instantly became the most popular in the history of Marquette’s Odyssey chapter, generating 46 likes and eight shares on Facebook. The Pulitzer committee says that those gargantuan numbers put Miller in position to win the coveted prize.
“We were especially impressed by the number of all-caps messages and heart emojis that went along with each share,” Pulitzer committee president Thurston Fitzgerald said. “Of course, the spelling, grammatical, and rhetorical errors in the piece seemed to turn off some committee members, but everyone else doesn’t seem to care about it, so why should we?”
Some of those errors are severe by conventional literary standards. Miller mixed up the words “defiantly” and “definitely,” ended three sentences with commas instead of periods and used the pronoun “I” at an astonishing rate of eight times per paragraph.
Voters also raised issue with numerous clichés in the blog post, citing both the thousands of Odyssey articles that start with “An Open Letter To…” as well as the veritable mountain of nearly identical pro-sorority posts. Miller, however, says that those concerns are unfounded.
“The whole point of this site is that it’s about me and my Odyssey™ through life,” Miller said. “Everybody has their own life Odyssey™, so nobody can tell me that my writing doesn’t have just as much merit as anyone else’s.”
This honor has inspired Miller to continue writing Odyssey blog posts; she already has her next several planned. Readers can expect her next post, “Eight Ways Your Freshman Year of College is Like Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood” to come out sometime next week. “I Like My Own Instagram Photos and That’s OK” is slated to release later on in the month.
In a related story, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service’s longform exposé about human trafficking in the city was not nominated for an award due to lack of gifs.