Each spring, the department conducts an academic competition to recognize student excellence in literary analysis, creative writing, technical writing and freshman composition.
The 2021 Literary and Writing Awards will be held as a contest only with no live event.
Now in its twelfth year, the competition is open for SFA students to submit in all categories (as described below).
Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Winners will be announced on April 19, 2021.
Awards are presented in each of the following categories:
- Graduate Literary Analysis
- Undergraduate Literary Analysis
- Creative Writing - Fiction
- Creative Writing - Poetry
- Creative Writing - Nonfiction
- Technical Writing
- Freshman Composition
Submissions must be sent electronically via email to SFALiteraryAwards@gmail.com. In the subject line identify:
- the specific category of the award (i.e. "2021 Creative Writing - Poetry")
- attach submission (if submitting to the poetry award, send each poem as a separate file) and
- ensure the attachments are Word or PDF documents.
No submissions will be accepted after 5 p.m. March 17, 2021.
Awards: One winner and up to two honorable mentions are selected for each category. Undergraduate first prizes are $50, and the first prize for the graduate award is $100. In addition, the winners' names and project titles are added to the department's award display case on the second floor of Dugas Liberal Arts North.
Competition Information and Guidelines
Submissions must be accompanied by an email from the student containing the following information:
- Your contact information, including name, email and phone number.
- Name of the course and the instructor tied to the essay/project (if applicable; see specifics for each award category).
- Name of the essay, project, story or poem(s).
- Word count (where required; see specifics for each award below).
- Assignment description (where required; see specifics for each award below).
Graduate Literary Analysis: Submissions must conform to MLA standards of formatting and citation and be between 3,500 and 3,700 words. The cover letter must provide a brief assignment description or the assignment may be attached. Submissions must come from graduate coursework or other work done in fulfillment of the graduate degree and under the supervision of a graduate faculty member in the department. Because this category uses a blind review process, please redact or remove your name from all pages of the essay.
Undergraduate Literary Analysis: Submissions must follow MLA standards of formatting and citation. Essays should be between 1,500 and 3,200 words. The cover letter must provide a brief assignment description or the assignment may be attached. Submissions must be the product of a 300-or-400 level SFA literature course. Because this category uses a blind review process, please redact or remove your name from all pages of the essay.
Creative Writing Awards: To be eligible for a creative writing award, students must be registered as a creative writing major or minor. Creative writing pieces produced for creative writing courses are preferable, but not required.
Fiction: Submitted stories should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
Poetry: Students may submit no more than three poems.
Nonfiction: Submitted essays should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
Technical Writing: Any project created during a technical writing course is eligible for submission. These projects can be in any format, including, but not limited to:
- instruction manuals
- and interactive media.
Along with their project, students should include a memo addressed to Dr. Sara Parks describing:
- what kind of assignment the project was created to fulfill
- who the stakeholders are for the piece
- and what kinds of design decisions they made to help make the work accessible to their target audience.
Freshman Composition Essay: Essays can include research projects or expository papers and should conform to MLA standards of formatting and citation. The cover letter must provide a brief assignment description or the assignment may be attached. Because this category uses a blind review process, please redact (remove) your name from all pages of the essay.
General Rules of Eligibility and Submission
- Essays and projects produced from spring, summer and fall 2020 are eligible.
- Students must be currently enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level in order to be eligible.
- Only papers written for SFA classes are eligible.
- Eligible students can submit to multiple categories if they choose. They cannot, however, submit more than one paper or project to the same category. In the case of the poetry award, students can submit no more than three poems.
- For the literary analysis and freshman composition categories, identifying markers – names and headers —should be removed from all submissions to create anonymous, or "blind," submissions.
- Incomplete submissions in which the email does not supply the required information will not be considered.
- The judges reserve the right not to give an award for reasons such as lack of submissions and/or quality of submissions.