2017 unl english Department Literary Contests Please pay careful attention



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2017 UNL English Department Literary Contests
Please pay careful attention to the bullet points below – especially points 3, 4, and 5!


  • Entrants should complete an entry form specific to the contest(s) they are entering. (Entry forms are available in the English Department Office, 202 Andrews Hall.)




  • No past winner of a first prize in any contest is eligible to enter that contest again, except undergraduate Vreeland winners may enter again as graduate students. No more than one prize award will be given to any individual in the same year.




  • Entrants should submit one paper copy of all entries (single spaced for poetry, double spaced for prose, 1” margins, 12pt font, black ink) and attach the copies to the entry form.




  • Staple or paper clip all pieces for an entry together sequentially and for each of your two copies. (e.g. if you submit multiple poems for an entry, staple them all together in the order you want the judges to read them; I don’t need each one individually paper-clipped). Do not give me a sheaf of manuscripts that I have to sort through and collate.




  • Authors’ names must not appear anywhere on the submitted manuscripts. All manuscripts will be recycled after judging.


The deadline for all contests is Friday, March 3. A separate entry form must be submitted for each contest entered. Entries should be submitted to the English Department Office, 202 Andrews.
Graduate Awards (Contests are open to graduate students in English):
The Vreeland Award: Two prizes ($1,000): poetry and prose. Material: A portfolio of representative creative writing in a single genre. Prose portfolios are limited to 50 pages of text, double-spaced (approximately 12,000 words). Poetry portfolios are limited to 20 pages or 20 individual poems. Literary essays may be included, but the award must be based on achievement in creative, not critical, work. Applicants should prepare brief statements (250 words) of their experiences and aims as writers for attachment to the entry. Do not include your name on your statement.
Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Awards for Short Story: Three prizes: First Prize $300, Second Prize $180, Third Prize $120. Submit only one story of no more than 7,000 words.
The Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship: One prize of $400. Submit either one creative nonfiction piece (limited to 20 pages of prose – approximately 5,000 words) or a maximum of 200 lines of poetry in any combination.*Full-time employees or lecturers are not eligible for fellowships.*
Gaffney/Academy of American Poets Award for Poetry: Three prizes: First Prize $300, Second Prize $180, Third Prize $120. Each poet may submit no more than 200 lines of poetry in any combination. Winner of first prize will be included in the Academy’s announcement of winners, which appears in the summer issue of American Poet, the Academy’s journal.
Undergraduate Awards (Contests open to undergraduates only):
The Vreeland Award: Two prizes ($500): poetry and prose. Material: A portfolio of representative creative writing in a single genre. Prose portfolios are limited to 50 pages of text, double-spaced (approximately 12,000 words). Poetry portfolios are limited to 20 pages or 20 individual poems. Literary essays may be included, but the award must be based on achievement in creative, not critical, work.
Marjorie Stover Awards for Short Story: The competition is open to undergraduate majors in the College of Arts and Sciences currently enrolled in the English Department. Two prizes: First Prize $200, Second Prize $100. Each prize is to be awarded for an outstanding original short story. Outstanding children’s stories are especially welcome. Entries are limited to 20 pages of prose (approximately 5,000 words). Each entry is limited to one piece.
Undergraduate Student Awards for Poetry: The competition is open to undergraduate majors in the College of Arts and Sciences currently enrolled in the English Department. Each entry is limited to no more than 200 lines of poetry in any combination.

Three prizes:

1. The Irby F. Wood Prize for Undergraduate Poetry ($500);

2. The Gaffney Prize for Undergraduate Poetry ($200);



3. The Gaffney Prize runner up for Undergraduate Poetry ($100).
Wilbur Gaffney Scholarly/Critical Essay Contest: One award: $200. Entries are limited to 5,000 words in length. Entries should be academic (critical/research) in nature. One essay per entrant. Essays should demonstrate originality, clarity, and rhetorical purpose and effectiveness.
Wilbur Gaffney Personal/Creative Non-Fiction Essay Contest: One Award: $200. Entries are limited to 5,000 words in length. Entries can include personal, expository, or creative non-fiction essays. One essay per entrant. Essays should demonstrate originality, clarity, and rhetorical purpose and effectiveness.
Ted Kooser Awards for Outstanding First-Year Writers: The competition is open to students nominated by their first-year writing teacher for this award. Instructors may nominate only one student from each first-year writing section (both spring and fall semester). The nominated submission will consist of up to ten pages of written work. A monetary prize of $200 will be awarded to the recipient and $100 will be awarded to the instructor. The prizes will be presented at the English Department Awards Celebration.
NOTE: These contests are open only to currently enrolled UNL students. Students who are UNL employees will have federal and state withholding deductions reflected in their award check. UNL students of any major are eligible for all contests except as specified above.
All winners of these contests will be honored at a public reading in the Dudley Bailey Library, Andrews 229, on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:00 pm and at the English Department’s Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 28 at 1:30 pm in the Bailey Library.
Winners will be announced on the English Department Website by April 14.
Michael Page, Contest Coordinator (contact me if you have questions, mpage3@unl.edu)


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