Latest about COVID-19 and W&M's Path Forward.

Info for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

2021 W&M Student Literary Awards Information


Welcome to the 2021 William & Mary Student Literary Awards! Every year, the faculty of the Creative Writing program looks forward to reading your creative work and marveling at the range and breadth of writing that happens at William & Mary.

This year's contest will open for submissions on February 26, 2021. All entries must be submitted via Box and received by 11:59 pm EST on March 19, 2021.

Award Categories

  • Single Poem
  • Group of Poems (3-5 pieces)
  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Drama/Screenwriting

Basic Rules

  • The awards are open to all students. Any currently enrolled undergraduate W&M student is eligible to enter.
  • All entrants may submit one entry in each category. Please do not submit more than one entry per category. If you do, only the first entry received for that category will be considered.
  • Your name should not appear within your manuscript. Judging is anonymous.
  • You’re welcome to submit work that has appeared in student publications.
  • You do not need to write a cover letter or bio. No judges will see it.
  • If you need to withdraw a submission, there's no need to give a reason. We don't read anything until all the entries are in and the contest has closed. Please email your withdrawal request to

Category Notes

All categories.
Judging is anonymous. Please remember to remove your name from the work and from the document. Watch those headers and footers. Watch those individual poems titles. Keep your name out of the document title. For example, name it “ActualAir.doc,” not “Berman-ActualAir.doc.”

Single Poem. Submit one poem. If you wish, you may also include this poem in the “Group of Poems” category.

Group of Poems (3-5 pieces). Submit a collection of three to five poems as a single document. Your group of poems may include a poem that you have also submitted to the “Single Poem” category.

Fiction. Submissions should be double-spaced, with a maximum length of approximately 9000 words. No novels or novellas. Excerpts from longer works must be able to stand alone as stories.

Creative Nonfiction. Submissions should be double-spaced, with a maximum length of approximately 9000 words. No book-length works. Excerpts from longer works must be able to stand alone as short pieces. Note: This prize is for a work of creative nonfiction and may include personal essays, narrative nonfiction, memoirs, and hybrids of these forms. Critical and analytical papers are not eligible.

Drama/Screenwriting. You may submit any sort of dramatic or screen work. One-act plays are welcome. So are multi-act plays. Short film scripts and episodic work are welcome. So are feature-length screenplays. If you're working on a full-length play or film but it remains incomplete, feel free to submit the partial work. Judges are looking for quality of story, not quantity of pages.


Finalists & Awards

Finalists will be notified in advance of the awards ceremony.

Winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

First-place winners in each category will receive $200. Second place winners will receive $100. Third place winners will receive $50. The top three entries in each category will also be published in a year-end anthology booklet, with synopses published for each dramatic work.



Please contact awards coordinator Andrew Blossom:


Related Links

Past Award Winners

2021 W&M Student Literary Awards

The 2020 W&M Student Literary Awards Virtual Ceremony

The Creative Writing Program at William & Mary