Stephen F. Austin State University

Departmental Awards

2017 Literary Awards

We are proud to announce the seventh annual Department of English Literary Awards will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Liberal Arts North, Room 102. These awards recognize student excellence in composition, technical writing, literary analysis, and creative writing. One winner and two honorable mentions will be selected for each category. Undergraduate first prizes are $50, and the first prize for the graduate award is $100.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 5p.m to

Undergraduate Literary Awards (Essays and projects produced from Spring, Summer, and Fall 2017 are eligible.)

Freshman Composition Essay: Essays can include research projects or expository papers, and should conform to MLA standards of formatting and citation.

Technical Writing: Projects could include reports and instruction manuals. Submissions should be at least 1,500 words, and display attention to page design and form. Documents may use graphics, tables, and charts.

Literary Analysis: Essays must follow MLA standards of formatting and citation. Essays should be between 1,500 to 3,200 words.

Creative Writing - Fiction: Submitted stories should be between 2,000-5,000 words.

Creative Writing - Poetry: Students may submit up to, but no more, than three poems.

Creative Writing - Non-Fiction: Submitted essays should be between 2,000-5,000 words.

Linguistics Award (NEW REQUIREMENTS)

  1. Applicants must be a Linguistics minor who is going to graduate during that calendar year (e.g., to be eligible for the Spring 2018 Linguistics Award, the student must be a declared Linguistics minor who is graduating May, August, or December 2018).
  2. Applicants will submit a single-spaced 2-3-page letter of application for the award, which includes the following information:

a. An introduction: What is your major? How did you discover the minor, and why did you declare a Linguistics Minor?

b. An overview of linguistics courses taken at SFA: What linguistics courses have you taken at SFA, and when did you take them? This information may be presented in a bulleted list.

c. Accomplishments in linguistics courses: Think about your work in linguistics courses at SFA, and identify the two projects/assignments you have completed that you are proudest of and learned the most from. For each, briefly summarize the project/assignment and answer the following questions: What did you learn by completing that work? How can you connect that work to other courses and/or your future pursuits?

d. A discussion of growth as a minor: What are the most important lessons you learned from being a linguistics minor, and how did that affect your academic goals/pursuits? How do you hope to connect linguistics to your future goals?

Graduate Literary Award (Essays and projects produced from Spring, Summer, and Fall 2016 are eligible.)

Best Researched Literary Analysis: Submitted essays must conform to MLA standards of formatting and citation, and be between 3500-3700 words.

Rules of Eligibility

  1. Freshman Composition Essay, Technical Writing Project, and Literary Analysis: only essays/projects produced for courses in the discipline (i.e., ENG 131, ENG 132, ENG 273, ENG 473, sophomore literature surveys, and 300 and 400 level literature courses).
  2. Creative writing pieces produced for creative writing courses (ENG 261, ENG 359, ENG 361, ENG 362, ENG 459, ENG 461, ENG 462, and ENG 463) are preferable, but not required.
  3. Linguistic work produced for linguistics courses (ENG 342, ENG 344, ENG 441, and ENG 442) are preferable, but not required.
  4. Students must be currently enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level in order to be eligible.
  5. To be eligible for a creative writing award, students must be registered as Creative Writing major or minor.
  6. Only paper written for SFA classes are eligible.

Rules of Submission

  1. Eligible students can submit to each category, 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.
  2. Identifying markers - names and headers - should be removed from all submissions proper, to create anonymous, or "blind," submissions. Include your name and contact information in the cover letter as described below.
  3. Submissions must be accompanied by a short cover letter in which students provide the following information: the name of the course and instructor tied to the essay/project (if applicable/required), the name(s) of the essay, project, story, or poems, the word count (where required), and contact information.
  4. Incomplete submissions - missing the cover letter, or the cover letter does not supply the required information - will not be considered.
  5. Submissions will be sent electronically, but must follow these guidelines: in the subject line identify the specific category of the award (i.e., "2017 Literary Awards - Poetry"); attach as separate files the cover letter and submission (if submitting to the poetry award, send each poem as a separate file); and attachments should be Word or PDF documents. Email the submission(s) to No submissions will be accepted after 5 p.m. March 21th.