Students writing

Writing Contests

The Creative Writing Program offers many annual prizes with significant cash awards to undergraduate and graduate students.

Basic Guidelines

The following are guidelines pertinent to all writing contests. Each contest also has its own, additional guidelines, so please read each one carefully.

  • Complete a cover sheet, and include it with your submission.
  • The work being submitted must be in MS Word format.
  • Include a header or footer on every page of your work that contains the following:
    • student ID number (your name must not appear on the work itself, only on the cover sheet)
    • genre
    • the work's full title
  • For ARTWORK where a header/footer is not feasible:
    • Submit a high-resolution jpeg of art work
  • The same work may be submitted to different contests. However, the genre of a piece cannot be relabeled. (For example, work entered as “Fiction” in one contest may not be entered elsewhere as “Nonfiction.”)
  • Email all contest submissions to CreativeWritingContests@uconn.edu
    • In the email Subject line, indicate the full name of the contest you are submitting your work for and the genre of your submission (for example: “Collins Literary Prizes: poetry or prose”).
    • One attachment only per email. Your cover sheet and your work must comprise a single electronic file.
  • Deadlines are strict. No late submissions will be considered.

Contests

Aetna Children’s Literature Award

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: $250
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Law, and UConn Health campuses

Guidelines: Please indicate whether you are submitting a manuscript for a picture book, a sample of children’s poetry or drama, or an excerpt from a middle-grade chapter book or a young adult novel. Limit of 3,000 words.

Aetna Creative Nonfiction Awards

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: Graduate $200-500; Undergraduate: $200-500
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses

About: One prize each for the best graduate and undergraduate works of creative nonfiction will be awarded. Winners will receive a cash prize and will read from their work at an evening program featuring a notable guest author. Undergraduate first place winner’s work will also be published in the Long River Review.

Guidelines: Nothing additional.

Aetna Translation Award

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: $250

Guidelines: One poem or an excerpt from a longer prose piece (maximum 1,500 words) translated into English, along with the original language version.

AWP (Associated Writing Programs) Intro Journals Project

Deadline: November 1, 2020
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses
Prize: Winners receive a $50 cash honorarium and are published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, Puerto del Sol, Controlled Burn, Quarterly West, Tampa Review, Willow Springs, or Artful Dodge.

About:  This is a national literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in the programs of the Associated Writing Programs (AWP).  As a member program, the University of Connecticut is eligible to nominate one work of nonfiction, one work of short fiction, and three poems.

Guidelines:  Work submitted should be unpublished.  Students may submit up to one essay, one work of fiction, and three poems.  Prose should be double-spaced, poetry single-spaced.

Edward R. and Frances Schreiber Collins Literary Prizes

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: Varies Annually. The 2018–2019 awards were $2,400 each.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses

About: Awarded in memory of Edward R. and Frances S. Collins for the best undergraduate literary works. Two cash prizes are awarded, one in prose and one in poetry. Prize-winning works will be published in the Long River Review.

Guidelines: For this prize, please submit each piece of the single application individually.

Edwin Way Teale Awards for Nature Writing

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: $100
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Law, and UConn Health campuses

About: The Edwin Way Teale Awards are intended to reward essayists who explore the relationships of human beings to the natural world. One undergraduate winner and one graduate winner will be chosen.

Guidelines: Submit one unpublished creative nonfiction work.

Gloriana Gill Awards For Drawing and Cartooning, and for Photography

Deadline: February 5, 2021
PrizeEligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses

About: Two awards given in memory of artist Gloriana Gill for 1) the best work of drawing or cartooning, and 2) the best work of photography (with preference given to black-and-white) appearing in the Long River Review. Entrants may submit multiple pieces to each prize.

Guidelines: Nothing additional.

Jennie Hackman Memorial Prize for Short Fiction

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: $1,000 (first); $300 (second); $200 (third)
Eligibility: Undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses

About: Awarded in memory of Jacob and Jennie Hackman for the best works of undergraduate short fiction. Up to three cash prizes awarded. Winning stories will be published in the Long River Review.

Guidelines: Nothing additional.

Long River Review Art Award

Deadline: February 5, 2021
Prize: $100 - $200
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses

About: A cash prize for the best piece of artwork to appear in the Long River Review. Entrants may submit multiple pieces.

Guidelines: Nothing additional.

Long River Review Graduate Writing Award

Deadline: December 9, 2020
Prize: $250
Eligibility: Graduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Law, or UConn Health

Guidelines: Submit prose pieces of up to 2,500 words, or 1-3 poems for poetry.

Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize

Deadline: THIS CONTEST WILL NOT BE HELD DURING 2020-21 ACADEMIC YEAR
Eligibility: Graduate and undergraduate students at Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury campuses; no previous first place winners
Prize: $1,000 (first); $500 (second); $250 (third)

About: Each year since 1964, a prominent poet has been invited to give a reading at the University of Connecticut as part of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Program. A student poetry contest is held in conjunction with that program. Prize winners read from their work at the annual program, and winning poems will be published in the Long River Review.

Guidelines: 5-8 pages of poems (cleanly typed, only one poem per page). This can be up to eight short poems, or several longer pieces.

2019-2020 Recipients

Congratulations to this year's awardees!


The Aetna Children’s Literature Award
Kelly Rafferty, for “What is Forever? A Cosmic Egg Cosmology”
(Honorable Mention: Ellen Fuller, for “The Forgetting Pool”)

Aetna Creative Nonfiction Awards
Undergraduate: Aner Bajraktarevic, for “deep down bad”
Graduate: Quinn Molloy, for “The Place”

Aetna Translation Award
Ain Jeong, for “Riverboat”
(Honorable Mentions: Kacper Haasefor “Uncertainty” and Matthew Ryan Shelton, for “Atemwende”)

Edward R. and Frances Schreiber Collins Literary Prize
Prose: Ryan Amato, for “Pavane”
(Honorable Mention: Ryan Amato, for “Between the World’s Oceans”)
Poetry: Lili Fishman, for “Untitled”
(Honorable Mention: Daniel Mitola, for “On Nemesis”)

Edwin Way Teale Awards for Nature Writing
Risa Lewis, for “Invisible Ink”
Justine Phillips-Galluci, for “Universe & Me”
Sydney Guerrera, for “Overflooding”

Jennie Hackman Memorial Prize for Fiction
First place: Kelly Rafferty, for “The In-Between”
Second place: Alexander Mika, for “Carnival”
Third Place: Kate Burns, for “Don’t Trust”

Long River Review Graduate Writing Award
Maurice Rodriguez
Honorable Mention: Sandy Athenaise Durosier

Wallace Stevens Poetry Contest
First place: Daniel Healy
Second place: Julia Brush
Third place: Matthew Ryan Shelton
(Honorable Mentions: Kelly Rafferty, and Olivia Baldwin)