Creative Writing Scholarships and Prizes

These scholarship and award descriptions are currently under revision, and because of that,  the deadline for application will be later than originally announced. April 1st, 2018. Check back at the end of February for revised descriptions.

Open to UW Seattle English Majors Only

(Application deadline for these awards is April 1, 2018, unless otherwise indicated.)


Edith K Draham Scholarship for Fiction

Undergraduate $1,200 towards tuition
Awarded toward tuition to the most promising sophomore or junior applicant who combines freshness and significance of idea with bold reaches into original and imaginative use of form and language; shows evidence of having produced a significant body of creative writing; has an academic grade point minimum of 3.0; and evidences greatest financial need among otherwise comparable applicants. Submission should include one or two short stories, or a novel excerpt of not more than 30 pages. Application form required.

Recent winners

2017: Hannah Parker

2016: Cameron Eldridge

2015: Charles Lee Wakenshaw
2014: Sarah Chante Gronostalski
2013: Samuel Pizelo
2012: Colin Gorenstein
2011: Tessa Whitehead
2010: Cosmo Smith
2009: Dana Minugh
2008: Michelle Hope Anderson
2007: Alexanne Madison
2006: Melina Coogan


Charlotte Paul Reese Fiction Award

Undergraduate, $1,000 first prize/$300 runner-up
Awarded to a sophomore or junior English major. Submit one or two short stories or a novel excerpt. The Deadline for this award is April 1, 2018, although early submission is recommended.

Recent winners

2017: Madeline Seaman

2016: Olivia Nivison

2015: no winner
2014: Cali Rose Kopczick (winner), Laura Jane Kostad (runner up)
2013: Heather Marie Smith (winner), Samuel Pizelo (runner up)
2012: Zoe Barker-Aderem (winner), Kristen Steenbeeke (runner up)
2011: Shelby Handler (winner), Courtney Holmes (runner up)
2010: Eric Beu (winner), Scott Forsythe (runner up)
2009: Lisa Fu (winner), Tamsin McPherson (runner up)
2008: Kyle Davis
2007: Kelsey McKendry (first place), Chloe Valencia (second place)
2006: Alexanne Madison


Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction

Undergraduate/Graduate $3,000
Submission of short fiction should be 3 stories of moderate length, or long fiction (novel) excerpts not to exceed 8000 words (also include a brief synopsis of what is planned to precede or follow this excerpt.) Author's name should not appear on the fiction (see instructions for anonymous submissions below). This award can be split.

Recent winners

2017: Jane Youngberg (graduate) and Olivia Nivison (undergraduate)

2016: Michelle Anderson, Tim Anderson, Kelly McMeekin (3 way split graduate)

2015: Natalie Bicknell (graduate) and Imaan Sophie Ramezanzadeh (undergraduate)
2014: Rachel Linn Shields and Adrianne P. Shushan (co-winners)
2013: Darren Davis and Fonda Fan (co-winners)
2012: Courtney Holmes (undergraduate), Nicholas VandenBos (graduate)
2011: Piper Daniels
2010: Paige Chant
2009: Sarah Shotwell and Chris Boginski (co-winners)
2008: Simone Sachs
2007: Elise Saba (undergraduate), Zachary Watterson (graduate)
2006: Tina Chaddick (undergraduate), Patrick Duff (graduate)


David Guterson Award

Graduate, fiction $1000
Open to all MFA prose students completing their degrees. A faculty committee will choose finalists, and David Guterson will choose the winner. Notify Judy LeRoux in Creative Writing if you'd like to be considered for this award. Finalists will be asked to submit a copy of their MFA theses. Deadline: May 14, 2018.

Recent winners

2017: Kim Halstead

2016: Tim Anderson

2015: Lynn G. Stansbury
2014: David F. Thomas
2013: Elizabeth Weinberg
2012: Jean Burnet
2011: Lisa Ritscher
2010: Michael Joshua Parish
2009: Chris Mohar and Daisy Wilson-Morrow (co-winners), Chris Boginski and Kara Weiss (finalists)
2008: Lowell Brower
2007: Jay Steere
2006: Peter Mountford (winner), Nancy Kim and Alice Marshall (finalists)



Nelson Bentley Prize

Graduate, poetry $1,000
This prize will be awarded to an MFA student in poetry whose work demonstrates talent and promise in creative writing, and also best exemplifies Nelson Bentley's personal philosophy of writing: "to emphasize knowledge of literature and history that forms its context, love of forms, humor, spontaneity, the necessary polarity of experiment and tradition, a fanatical dedication and a light spirit. Inseparables include the mesh of meaning and technique...stressing the sound of language, its performance, as a part of the knowledge of form." Submissions should number 5-10 poems. Author's name should not appear on the poems.

Recent winners

2017: Garrett Evans

2016: Gabrielle Bates Stahlman

2015: Gabrielle Bates Stahlman
2014: Catherine C. Bresner
2013: Emily Haines
2012: Elizabeth Colen
2011: Kate Lebo
2010: Sarah Kathryn Moore
2009: Scott Provence and Sarah Kathryn Moore (co-winners)
2008: Chelsea Jennings
2007: Christine Walsh
2006: Margaret Rabb


Joan Grayston Poetry Prize

Undergraduate & Graduate $650 each
Prizes are given for the best long poem (100 lines or more) or a sequence or collection of poems (10 poems or more). Students will not be eligible to enter the competition after having won two prizes. Masters' theses may be submitted for this award. There is one $650 award for an undergraduate student and one $650 award for a graduate student.

Recent winners

2017: Erin McCoy and Erin Lynch (graduate split)  

2016: Tige Decoster and Max Kerwien (undergraduate split), Erin Lynch (graduate)

2015: Imaan Sophie Ramezanzadeh (undergraduate), Catherine C. Bresner (graduate)
2014: Cali Rose Kopczick (undergraduate), Patrick R. Milian (graduate)
2013: Joshua Berg (undergraduate), Richard S. Smith (graduate)
2012: Emily Dhatt and Julie Feng (undergraduate co-winners), Kate Lebo (graduate)
2011: Leena Joshi (undergraduate), Rachel Welty (graduate)
2010: Chelsie Doherty and Nicole Guenther (undergrad co-winners), Sarah Kathryn Moore (graduate)
2009: William Jameson and Benjamin Drum (undergraduate co-winners), Sarah Erickson and Scott Provence (graduate co-winners)
2008: Alexander Walton (undergraduate), Christine Walsh (graduate)
2007: Matthew Bathan and Patrick Brodie (undergraduate co-winners), Maggie Jackson (graduate), Jennifer Beebe (graduate honorable mention)
2006: Melina Coogan (undergraduate), Steven Dold and Amy Schrader (graduate co-winners)


Arthur Oberg Prize for Poetry

Undergraduate $1,000
Any undergraduate enrolled in a beginning or intermediate verse writing course during the current academic year is eligible. Students may submit as many poems as they wish, the number of lines totaling no more than 150.

Recent winners

2017: Christian Orr

2016: Olivia Nivison and Devin James (co-winners)

2015: John "Jack" William Chelgren
2014: Tanya Joy Friedland
2013: Joshua Berg
2012: Julie Feng and Robert Reeves (co-winners)
2011: Olga Vilkotskaya
2010: Chelsie Doherty and Nicole Guenther (co-winners)
2009: Brittany Dennison and Joseph Darda (co-winners)
2008: Lucy Burnett
2007: Samuel Asher McPhee and Erin Thompson (co-winners)
2006: Vi Le


Academy of American Poets Prize

Undergraduate/Graduate $100
This prize is awarded for the best poem or group of poems by a student. Submit up to three poems. Author's name should not appear on the poems (see instructions for anonymous submissions below).

Recent winners

2017: Aya Gold (graduate), Lauren Schlesinger (graduate honorable mention)

2016: Rachel Edelman (graduate), Aya Gold (graduate honorable mention)

2015: Alexander M. Streim (graduate), John "Jack" William Chelgren (undergraduate), Erin L. McCoy (honorable mention)
2014: Jessica Rae Bergamino (winner), John ("Jack") William Chelgren (honorable mention)
2013: Joseph Yencich and Julie Feng (co-winners), Elizabeth Colen (honorable mention)
2012: Erika Wilder and Katherine Eulensen (co-winners), Peter Moench (honorable mention)
2011: Mia Malhotra
2010: Chelsie Marie Doherty and Cosmo Smith (co-winners), Matthew Kelsey and Colleen Kenny (honorable mentions)
2009: William Bernhard and Alexander Walton (co-winners)
2008: Brian Christian and Hannah Sanghee Park (co-winners), Evan Nagle and Alexander Walton (honorable mentions)
2007: Arnold Seong (winner), Shannon Tharp and Christine Walsh (honorable mentions)
2006: Brandon Krieg (winner), Margaret Rabb (honorable mention)


McLeod-Grobe Prize

Graduate, poetry $500
Open to all UW MFA students, including those who have completed coursework but are finishing their degrees. Students should submit 3 poems. Author's name should not appear on the poems. (Include a cover sheet listing your name and the titles of poems submitted.)

Recent winners

2017: Cameron Quan Louie

2016: Maria Mills and Gabrielle Bates Stahlman (co-winners)

2015: Alison N. Stagner
2014: Derek D. Robbins
2013: Joseph Yencich
2012: Peter Moench
2011: Erika Wilder
2010: Mia Malhotra
2009: William Bernhard (first place), Aaron Barrell (second place)
2008: Brian Christian (first place), Evan Nagle (second place)
2007: Margaret Rabb and Evan Nagle (co-winners)
2006: Avery Slater (first place), Pattabi Seshadri (second place), Rita Banerjee (third place)


Prose or Poetry

Grace Milliman Pollock Scholarship (formerly Loren D. Milliman Scholarship)

Graduate, poetry & prose, $12,000 towards tuition
Applicant is to be currently enrolled in the MFA poetry or prose program, having completed not more than one year of graduate school. Award is based on talent in creative writing, academic standing, and between applicants of equal rank in the foregoing criteria, financial need. After a faculty committee chooses finalists, the winner is selected by the donor of the scholarship. The donor is particularly interested in submissions that do not include sex, violence and/or profanity. (Recipient of this award must be registered full-time for the academic year to receive funding.) Application form required.

Recent winners

2017: Meagan Arthur

2016: Erin McCoy

2015: Rachel S. Edelman (winner), Michelle Hope Anderson (runner up)
2014: Joshua M. Potter
2013: Jennifer Murphy
2012: Luke Laubhan
2011: Cecilia Kiely
2010: Lisa Ritscher
2009: Matt Nienow
2008: Daisy Wilson-Morrow
2007: Hannah Sanghee Park
2006: Carrie Purcell

How to Apply

Submissions should include the following material:

1) Two separated, collated & clipped copies of your cover sheet, biography, & poetry or fiction samples (length describe above). On your cover sheet clearly indicate which award the submission is for and include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (i.e., a packet for each contest reader).

2) **FOUR COPIES including application form for the Milliman & two copies & application form for the Draham. (Application forms for the Milliman and Draham Scholarships are also available in the Creative Writing Office or email to have a copy sent by email.)

3) A cover sheet is fine for awards that do not have a formal application form. Names may appear on the manuscript; however, names should not appear on submissions for the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Nelson Bentley Fellowship, the Eugene Van Buren award and the McLeod-Grobe.

4) For all awards, include a brief, personal (biographical) statement. A paragraph or two is fine, but not more than one page. (Include bios with each submission copy.)

Submit manuscripts to the Creative Writing Office, Padelford Hall B-25. Office hours are 9-4 Monday-Friday. Deadline: April 1, 2018 unless otherwise indicated in the description.

Winners will be notified by the end of Spring Quarter. Winning names will be posted after all contests have been finalized.

Only 2017 contest description available at this time.  For 2018 description see Judy LeRoux.

For more information, please contact Judy LeRoux (Padelford B-25,, 543-9865).


Other Scholarship Sources: