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Creative Writing Contests and Awards

The Creative Writing Program sponsors several writing contests each spring. Endowed prizes for undergraduate writing include:

  • Knickerbocker Prize in Poetry: First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $300, Third Prize: $200. Endowed prize for non-traditional forms, such as free verse, experimental verse, etc.
  • Bain Swiggett Prize for Poetry: First Prize: $200, second Prize: $100. This is an endowed prize for traditional forms of poetry.
  • Captain Robert A. Burke Award in Fiction: First Prize: $100, Second Prize: $75.
  • Elenora Burke Award for Non-fiction: First Prize $100, Second Prize: $50.

The deadline for the 2016 Undergraduate Writing Awards is March 21st, and complete submission details can be found here

Each year the College of Arts and Sciences offers the Woodruff Award for creative writing by undergraduates. Prizes sometimes run as high as $750 each, with up to four prizes.  The submission deadline for 2016 is March 21st, and the requirements for submitting are available here. For information about this award, contact the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Center:

1 Alumni Memorial Building
Ph: 865-974-4481

Graduate students compete annually for the John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Prizes in the following categories:

Poetry Writing Contest First Prize: $500.  Second Prize: $300.  Third Prize: $100.

Fiction Writing ContestFirst Prize: $500.  Second Prize: $300.  Third Prize: $100

The deadline for submission for the 2016 John C. Hodges Graduate Writing Prizes is April 1st, and complete submission information can be found here.

For additional information about the endowed undergraduate prizes or the graduate prizes, contact Professor Margaret Lazarus Dean at

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