The Arboretum in Spring




© University of Wisconsin-Madison Board of Regents

Lydia Conklin




© Oliver Bendorf, 2011-13 MFA

Contact Us

Contests Coordinator Sean Bishop
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

phone: 206-491-1505
fax: 608-263-3709

Helen C. White Hall, home of the Program in Creative Writing




Helen C. White Hall, home of the Program in Creative Writing and the undergraduate awards ceremony


Annual Undergraduate Contests

Every year the Program in Creative Writing awards up to $7,000 to undergraduates at various stages in their studies. The following prizes are awarded at the end of the spring semester at a special ceremony and reading. Please read the criteria carefully; most students are eligible to apply for more than one prize. See the exact deadlines for each prize below; most are due on March 15, though the thesis prizes are not due until April 23. E-mail your entries as pdf attachments to uwisc.cwp@gmail.com. In the subject line of your e-mail, write the full name of the prize to which you are applying, as listed below. In the body of the e-mail, please include your full name, current address, @wisc email, alternate non-wisc email, phone number, and the creative writing courses you've taken this year (if any), as well as the names of the instructors who taught them. All currently enrolled students are eligible to apply to the Hill and Muller awards, regardless of their enrollment in creative writing courses.

PLEASE NOTE: You may be eligible to apply for more than one prize. If you do submit to more than one prize, you must send separate emails for each prize entry, indicating the prize to which you are applying in the subject line of each e-mail. Failure to do this may result in an incomplete consideration of your application. The group of poems or stories, however, may be the same for each prize application.

The Charles M. Hart, Jr. Writers of Promise Awards are given for the best poetry and fiction by students enrolled in ENGL 207: Intro to Fiction & Poetry. Students taking English 207 in either semester of the academic year may submit one story or three poems. Although there is no minimum or maximum word criteria for stories, we suggest you keep fiction submissions between five and thirty double-spaced pages in length. The final deadline for this competition is March 15.

The George B. Hill Award ($100-$500) and The Therese Muller Memorial Award ($100-$300) are awarded for poetry and short stories, respectively, submitted in a campus-wide competition. Any currently enrolled student may submit one short story and/or three poems. Story submissions will also be considered for the $500 Henry Douglas Mackaman Undergraduate Writer’s Award (see below). Although there is no minimum or maximum word criteria for stories, we suggest you keep fiction submissions between five and thirty double-spaced pages in length. The deadline for this competition is March 15.

The Henry Douglas Mackaman Undergraduate Writer’s Award ($500) is awarded to the best short story written by a sophomore, junior, or senior, submitted in a campus-wide competition. All applicants to the Muller Awards will also be considered for the Mackaman Award. Although there is no minimum or maximum word criteria for stories, we suggest you keep fiction submissions between five and thirty double-spaced pages in length.

The Ron Wallace Poetry Thesis Prize ($1,000) is awarded annually for the best poetry thesis completed during the current academic year by an English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. The deadline for this prize is April 20.

The Eudora Welty Fiction Thesis Prize ($1,000) is awarded annually for the best fiction thesis completed by an English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. The deadline for this prize is April 20.

The Cy Howard Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing ($1,000) is awarded annually to a recipient judged to be the most promising Senior English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. All applicants to the Felix Pollak and Eudora Welty Thesis Prizes will be considered for the Cy Howard Memorial Scholarship (for this prize only, there is no need to submit multiple times to be considered for multiple awards).


The University Book Store
Academic Excellence Awards

In addition to the prizes awarded by the Program in Creative Writing, each year the University Book Store awards up to twenty $1,000 prizes to students who have completed “major projects” under the direction of a UW-Madison faculty member. This year's Book Store Award deadline is March 8. For each of the past several years, at least six of these prizes have gone to creative writers. The exact guidelines are available by clicking here. Please note that your application will require a letter of recommendation from your project’s faculty advisor (for example, the instructor assigned to you for ENGL-695).