Creative Writing Scholarships and Prizes

(Application deadline for these awards is March 1, 2021, unless otherwise indicated.)

How to Apply

Because of Covid safety restrictions, please send the following items as individual attachments to:

1) ONE Cover Sheet  (pdf)  - Your name as the Attachment title

2) ONE Current unofficial UW transcript - Your name as the Attachment title

3) ONE Biographical statement, including a brief description of financial need.  Not more than 250 words - Your name as the Attachment title

4) Creative Writing Sample for EACH CONTEST (Attachment title should be CONTEST NAME  and your initials):



Note that some awards have specific requirements.  If no requirements are listed in the contest descriptions below, please follow these guidelines:  2-3 short stories or works of creative nonfiction or a novel excerpt (up to 30 pages/9,000 words). If you are excerpting from a longer work, please provide a synopsis of the whole. 


5-10 poems. 

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

For more information, please contact:, (206) 543-9865.


Charlotte Paul Reese Fiction Award

Undergraduate, $2,400 prize
OPEN THROUGH APPLICATION OR THROUGH NOMINATION BY FACULTY.  Deadline:  APRIL 1, 2021. Currently enrolled Sophomore and Junior English Majors only may apply.  Submit 2-3 short stories or a novel excerpt (up to 30 pages/9,000 words). If you are excerpting from a longer work, please provide a synopsis of the whole.

Recent winners

  • 2020: Zoe Mertz
  • 2019: Riley Grace Borden
  • 2018: Eli D’Alboro 
  • 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)
  • 006: Alexanne Madison

Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction

Undergraduate/Graduate $6,000  to be divided among 1 or 2 winners

Any registered graduate or undergraduate student at the University of Washington is eligible. The award is based on the quality of their novel or collection of several short stories, presented anonymously.  Submit 2-3 short stories or a novel excerpt (up to 30 pages/9,000 words).  If you are excerpting from a longer work, please provide a synopsis of the whole.

Recent winners

  • 2020: Mac Murray
  • 2019: Marianne Manzler and Piper Daugharty
  • 2018: Piper Daugharty (Graduate) and Alyse Campbell (Undergraduate)
  • 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 $1500
OPEN to MFA prose writers completing their degrees only. Please 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 Creative Project. Deadline: May 3, 2021.

Recent winners

  • 2020: award distributed to MFA student summer fellowships
  • 2019: Piper Daugharty
  • 2018: Stephen Kernaghan
  • 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)


Joan Grayston Poetry Prize

One prize for an Undergraduate & one prize for a Graduate student $1,500 each
Any graduate or undergraduate student may apply.  Students may submit as many poems as they like, up to a total of 100 lines.

Recent winners

        2020:  Tyler Wagner (graduate) and Mickee Cheung (undergraduagte)

        2019: Emma Aylor (graduate) and Julia Powers (undergraduate)

        2018: Emma Aylor (graduate) and  Mickee Cheung (undergraduate)

  • 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 Award for Poetry

Undergraduate $2,000
Any undergraduate student who has taken a beginning or intermediate poetry writing class this year may apply. Students may submit as many poems as they like, with a ceiling of 150 lines.

Recent winners

  • 2020: Daniel O'Connell
  • 2019: Daniel O'Connell and Kendall Upton
  • 2018: Kathryn Priest
  • 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 Roberli>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
Any graduate or undergraduate student may apply.  This prize is awarded for the best poem or group of poems.  Submit up to three poems anonymously.  

Recent winners

  • 2020: M. Alexander Turner
  • 2019: Caleb Braun
  • 2018: Ainsley Kelly
  • 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

There is no longer funding for this prize.  

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 for Creative Writing

poetry & prose, $11,000
Any graduate or undergraduate student who is preparing for a career in creative writing or in the teaching of creative writing, who is currently enrolled at the University of Washington, and who will be enrolled in the following academic year may apply.  Must have completed at least two years of college-level work.  the award is based on demonstrated talent in creative writing, academic standing, and, between applicants of equal rank in the foregoing criteria, financial need. 

Recent winners

  • 2020: Ally Ang
  • 2019: Rachel Hill
  • 2018: Areej Quraishi — Finalists: Naima Kazmi & Marianne Manzler
  • 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

Edith K Draham Scholarship

Undergraduate $6,000
Full-time Sophomore and Junior English Majors only may apply.  The award is based on financial need and the submission of a sample of creative writing.  Priority will be given to students in good academic standing and students MUST be eligible for financial aid.

Recent winners

  • 2020: Julia Kudler
  • 2019: Sumaya Ali
  • 2018: Kevin Teeter 
  • 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

Bentley MFA Award in Creative Writing

One award in poetry and one in prose, $1,500 each
Any MFA student completing their first year in the program may apply for this scholarship.  One award will be given for prose and one will be given for poetry.  

Recent winners

  • 2020: (prose) Amy Zimmerman, (poetry)  Haines Whitacre
  • 2019: (poetry) Michael Alexander Turner, (prose) Boston Chandler
  • 2018: (prose)  William Patrick Burr,  (poetry)  Jordyn Murray
  • 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

Other Scholarship Sources: