Writing Contests

Each year, the English Department at Penn State sponsors an array of writing contests in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for undergraduate writers from across the university and BA/MA students in creative writing at University Park. Submissions are accepted through January, and winners are announced in the spring. All winners earn cash prizes and are honored at an awards ceremony, typically held in April. First-place winners are also published in the student literary magazine, Kalliope.

More information about these annual awards and the submission process be found on the English Department website: http://english.la.psu.edu/undergraduate/awards

Thanks to all who entered this year’s contests and to all of the judges.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

2017  Writing Award Winners


(Judge: Anne McCarthy, Penn State)
(Judge: Robert Alderman, Penn State)
1. Andrew Swiatek, “The Life of the Earth” 1. Brayden Ford, “Alistair White and the Girl Who Wasn’t There”
2. *James Anthony,
“Six Hundred and Twenty-Four Acres”
2. Kelly Jedrzejewski, “Ships in the Night”
3. Abigail Kennedy, “Fair Trade” 3. Madeline DeLuca, “Clothes for Protection”


Lehman—NON Fiction  (Judge: Jennifer Hirt, Penn State, Harrisburg) Nichols—NON Fiction
(Judge: Jennifer Hirt, Penn State, Harrisburg)
1. Angela Roman, “Reverberations” 1. Samantha Bixler, “How to Grow Up”
2.  Abigail Houston, “Natural” 2. Julia Martin,
“What Kind of Music Do You Listen To?”
3.  Nathaniel Sutherland,
“A Place of Vast Repute for Blessed Power”
3. Julia Silver,  “On OCD, and Index”


Lehman—Poetry (Judge: Emily Grosholtz, Penn State)
1. Molly Brennan, “Room 104”
2. Makensi Ceriani, “When I Had Long Hair”
3. Danielle Fruehan, “Siamese Fighting Fish”


Cranage—Poetry  (Judge: Katie Bode-Lang, Penn State)
1. William Fitzgerald, “Keystone”
2. Nakul Grover, “Standing in Grandma’s Garden” and “Temple on the Hill”
3. Danielle Fruehan, “Learning to Sew”
4. Melissa Bradley, “I was meaning to tell you”


Mihelcic—Poetry  (Judge: Emily Grosholtz, Penn State)
1. Kate Wright, “Fishtail”
2. Erin Servey, “Asheville”
3. Elizabeth Catchmark, “Surplus”
4. Andrew Slavinsky, “Boards and Screws”



Winner: Makensi Ceriani, “When I Had Long, Dark Hair”
Runner up: Caitlin Wolper, “Cherry Springs State Park”
(Judge: Jeff Gundy, professor of English, Bluffton University, Ohio)

Toby Thompson Prize:
Lauren Parrott, “Her”
(Judges: Robin Becker and James Brasfield, Penn State)

Past Winners:

2016 Contests

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