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Three prizes for the best work created during 2021 in an undergraduate English course (excluding first-year writing courses and Advanced Writing in the Disciplines courses) will be awarded at a special presentation and reception at the end of the spring semester. One prize is awarded in the category of Scholarly Writing, one in the category of Creative Writing, and one for work that does not fit either category.

Eligibility Requirements

Only English majors, combined majors, and minors are eligible, and all English majors and minors are invited to apply.  Students may submit work in more than one category.

Eligible for consideration under the category of Scholarly Writing are critical essays on topics in British, American, and comparative literature, as well as on topics in literary theory, writing/rhetoric, and film.

Eligible for consideration under the category of Creative Writing are short stories, chapters from longer works of fiction, poems or small collections of poems, creative prose nonfiction, plays, and screenplays.

Eligible for consideration under the Other category is any piece that cannot properly be described as creative or scholarly writing (e.g. DH projects, objects crafted as a creative response, etc). “Other” submissions should be accompanied by sufficient information about the project to enable a judge with no prior knowledge of the field to properly evaluate it.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit one electronic copy of each essay or creative work in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Work should be double-spaced and should use a standard 12-point font.
  • The title should appear on the first page of the submission, but the student’s name should not appear in the work itself.   The faculty judges will not know the authors of the submissions.
  • Submissions in the “Other” category that cannot be uploaded should be brought to the English Department front office, with all identifying creator information removed from the object itself. Include a removable tag with the creator’s name and contact information.
  • Students are welcome to revise their work in accordance with the instructor’s suggestions before submitting it to the writing contest.
  • A student may submit no more than one work in each category (collections of shorter works, such as a group of poems, will be evaluated as one submission in the Creative Writing category).
  • Submissions in the Scholarly Writing category should be at least five pages long.  Submissions in either the Scholarly Writing or the Creative Writing category should not exceed twenty-five pages.
  • Submissions in all categories are limited to work written for Northeastern University courses in 2021. Resubmissions are not permitted.

Please note that failure to follow these guidelines may result in disqualification.

The works in each category are judged by a panel of faculty.  Anonymity is preserved, and toward that end, faculty members do not judge work written for their own classes.

Submissions are now closed. Please contact j.bagley@northeastern.edu for further assistance.