Stephen F. Austin State University

Departmental Awards

Department of English and Creative Writing Annual Awards

Each spring, the department conducts an academic competition to recognize student excellence in literary analysis, creative writing, technical writing, linguistics, and freshman composition.

The 2019 Literary Awards will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00pm in Liberal Arts North, Room 102.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 8, 2019 at 5p.m to

Submissions received by February 1, 2019 will be entered into an Early-bird Prize drawing.

Awards are given in each of the following categories:

Graduate Literary Analysis

Undergraduate Literary Analysis Creative Writing - Fiction

Creative Writing - Poetry

Creative Writing - Non-Fiction

Technical Writing


Freshman Composition

Submissions must be sent electronically via email to the In the subject line identify the specific category of the award (i.e., "2019 English Awards - Poetry"); attach submission (if submitting to the poetry award, send each poem as a separate file); and attachments should be Word or PDF documents. No submissions will be accepted after 5 p.m. February 8, 2019.

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 awards display case on the second floor of the Vera Dugas Liberal and Applied Arts building.

Competition Information and Guidelines

Submissions must be accompanied by an email from the student, containing the following information:

  1. your contact information, including name, email, and phone number
  2. name of the course and the instructor tied to the essay/project (if applicable; see specifics for each award category)
  3. name of the essay, project, story, or poem(s)
  4. word count (where required; see specifics for each award below)
  5. assignment description (where required; see specifics for each award below)

Additional specifications:

Graduate Literary Analysis: Submissions must conform to MLA standards of formatting and citation, and be between 3500-3700 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.

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

Creative Writing Awards: To be eligible for a creative writing award, students must be registered as Creative Writing major or minor. 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.

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

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

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

Technical Writing: Any project created during a Technical Writing course (including Intro to Technical and Scientific Writing, Advanced Technical Writing, Technical and Professional Editing, Digital Rhetoric and Writing, Reasoning and Writing, or a Technical Writing Internship). These projects can be in any format, including (but not limited to):

Along with their project, students should include a memo addressed to Dr. Megan Condis describing:

Linguistics Award

The Linguistics Award is given to an undergraduate Linguistics Minor who has a strong academic record in linguistics courses, shows promise in the field, and demonstrates enthusiasm for linguistic work. There is no application process for this award. Each year, the committee selects a Linguistics Minor who has demonstrated excellence in at least three of the following categories:

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.

General Rules of Eligibility and Submission

  1. Essays and projects produced from Spring, Summer, and Fall 2017 are eligible.
  2. Students must be currently enrolled at the undergraduate or graduate level in order to be eligible.
  3. Only papers written for SFA classes are eligible.
  4. 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.
  5. For the literary analysis and freshman composition categories, identifying markers - names and headers - should be removed from all submissions proper, to create anonymous, or "blind," submissions.
  6. Incomplete submissions in which the email does not supply the required information - will not be considered.
  7. The judges reserve the right not to give an award for reasons such lack of submissions and/or quality of submissions