Annual Writing Competition
The English Department announces the annual competition for prizes in writing. The prizes are cash awards ranging from $50 to $500. Only Northwestern students are eligible for these awards, and we encourage students from every department and school to compete according to the guidelines below.
Any original work is eligible, whether or not it has been written for a class. Your name must be completely removed from the document, and all comments by teachers on the course papers, however, should also be removed. A legible scanned of the entry copy is acceptable as long as it is in pdf format; handwritten work is not acceptable. Please follow these rules:
- Any original work is eligible, whether or not it was written for a class.
- Students may submit only one work in each of the following categories: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction essay, critical essay, ENG 300 (formerly 298) paper. Submit the work in the appropriate category below.
- The suggested length for critical essays is 5-20 pages; the maximum length for fiction and creative nonfiction is 20 pages; the maximum length for a poetry manuscript is 10 pages or 3 poems.
- Students do not need to submit work for a specific prize; we will consider it for all appropriate prizes.
Work will be judged anonymously.
The competition is closed for the 2022-2023 school year, and will re-open again April 2024.
Creative Writing Awards Eligibility
|FICTION||Any WCAS undergraduate|
|POETRY||Any University Undergraduate|
|CREATIVE NONFICTION||Any University undergraduate|
|AUDIO/VISUAL||Any University undergraduate|
Literature Awards Eligibility
|CRITICAL ESSAY||Any WCAS undergraduate|
|ENGLISH 300 PAPER||Any undergraduate student who took English 300 in Fall 2022, Winter 2023, or Spring 2023|
|ENGLISH FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR PAPER||Any Northwestern first-year undergraduate student|
In addition to the prizes listed above, the Department will annually present the following awards to students who have demonstrated continued excellence in their work in the English Department. Students should not apply directly for these prizes.
Edwin L. Shuman Awards:
The Shuman Junior Award in Creative Writing will be awarded to the best junior Creative Writing major.
The Shuman Senior Award in Creative Writing will be awarded to the best senior Creative Writing major.
The Shuman Award for Best Honors Thesis in Creative Writing will be awarded to the best creative honors thesis.
The Shuman Junior Award in Literature will be awarded to the best junior English Literature major.
The Shuman Senior Award in Literature will be awarded to the best senior English Literature major.
The Shuman Award for Best Honors Thesis in Literature will be awarded to the best critical honors thesis.Back to top