University of Pittsburgh

undergraduate

Undergraduate Writing Awards

The Writing Program administers five undergraduate writing awards: the Alexandra L. Rowan Writing Award, the Monty Culver Prize in FictionThe Melissa Difatta Undergraduate Nonfiction AwardThe Taube Award in Fiction, and the Poetry Award for Undergraduate Writers. Scroll down for award guidelines. See the Award Winners page for previous prize recipients.

Alexandra L. Rowan Writing Award

The Alexandra L. Rowan Writing Award is named after Alexandra L. Rowan, a graduate of the Writing Program who died tragically in 2013, and is endowed by the foundation that bears her name. The award is given annually to a woman poet, fiction writer, and writer of nonfiction, each of whom receives $2,000 in recognition of the excellence of her work. The award is judged by a distinguished writer, who makes the presentation and gives a reading and talk at the Alexandra Rowan Writing Festival. The 2017 awards will be judged by the essayist and journalist Meghan Daum, who will present them on April 6. 

Monty Culver Prize in Fiction

A $200 prize will be awarded for the best short story written by an undergraduate student enrolled in a fiction course at the University of Pittsburgh during the 2016-17 academic year.

One first place winner will be chosen. 

Submission Deadline:  March 13, 2017

 SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

 • Story must have been written for an undergraduate fiction course. Only one submission per student will be considered.

• Story should be 4,000 words or fewer.

• All work must be submitted electronically to the following address: https://pittwritingcontests.submittable.com/submit

• Title of file should be the title of your story. Include NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION in the attachment/story document.

• Be sure to complete the contact information on Submittable when you submit. If possible include the following information:

  1. Title of the Piece
  2. Full Name
  3. PeopleSoft Number
  4. Home Address
  5. Cell Phone Number
  6. Email Address
  7. Instructor Name, Course Name & Number
  8. “Monty Culver Fiction Award” clearly marked

Submissions are anonymous.

The winner will be announced at the Creative Writing Awards ceremony in April 2017 and his/her name will be posted on the department website.

Questions? Contact Andrea Laurion

The Melissa Difatta Undergraduate Nonfiction Award 

Prizes totaling $200 will be awarded for a first, second, and third place nonfiction manuscript written by an undergraduate student enrolled in a nonfiction course at Pitt during the 2016-17 academic year.

Submission Deadline: March 13, 2017

Submission guidelines:

• Manuscript must be no more than 4,000 words.

• Manuscript must have been written for an undergraduate nonfiction course.  Only one submission per student will be considered.

• All work must be submitted electronically to the following address: https://pittwritingcontests.submittable.com/submit

• Title of file should be the title of your essay. Include NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION in the attachment/essay document.

• Be sure to complete the contact information on Submittable when you submit. If possible include the following information:

  1. Title of the Piece
  2. Full Name
  3. PeopleSoft Number
  4. Home Address
  5. Cell Phone Number
  6. Email Address
  7. Instructor’s Name
  8. “Melissa Difatta Undergraduate Nonfiction Award” clearly marked

Submissions are anonymous.

Winners will be announced at the Creative Writing Awards ceremony in April 2017 and their names posted on the department website.

Questions? Contact Andrea Laurion

The Taube Award in Fiction

The Taube Award in Fiction will be offered as a tribute and monetary support to young fiction writers.  The award will go to the undergraduate junior or senior who, in the opinion of a panel of faculty from the writing and literature programs of the Department of English, is most deserving of recognition. 

Submission Deadline: March 13, 2017

Submission Guidelines:

• The contest is open to any junior or senior enrolled at the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

• Students should submit either three short stories or one extended piece of work from a novel (or novella).  The submission should be no fewer than fifty pages.

• The work submitted should have been written during the student’s enrollment in a University of Pittsburgh writing program class or as a part of a student’s independent writing activities for his or her Senior Seminar project.

• The prize will be awarded to the work that in the panel’s opinion shows the highest levels of imagination, seriousness of purpose, and mastery of craft. During any given academic year, if, in the judgment of the panel, none of the submissions meets these criteria, no award will be made. The panel may also elect to split the award between two winners.

• All work must be submitted electronically to the following address: https://pittwritingcontests.submittable.com/submit

• Include NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION in the story document.

• On your cover page include the following information:

  1. Title of Stories
  2. Full Name
  3. PeopleSoft Number
  4. Home Address
  5. Cell Phone Number
  6. Email Address
  7. Instructor’s Name
  8. “Taube Award in Fiction” clearly marked.

Submissions are anonymous.

The winner will be announced at the Creative Writing Awards ceremony in April 2017 and his/her name will be posted on the department website.

Questions? Contact Andrea Laurion

Poetry Award for Undergraduate Writers

Prizes totaling $500 will be awarded for a first, second, and third place poem written by an undergraduate student enrolled in a poetry writing class at the University of Pittsburgh during the 2016-17 academic year.

Submission Deadline:  March 13, 2017

Submission guidelines:

• Each student may submit as many as three poems.

• All work must be submitted electronically to the following address: https://pittwritingcontests.submittable.com/submit

• Title of file should be the titles of your poems. Include NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION in the attachment/poetry document.

• Be sure to complete the contact information on Submittable when you submit. If possible include the following information:

  1. Titles of Poems
  2. Full Name
  3. PeopleSoft Number
  4. Home Address
  5. Cell Phone Number
  6. Email Address
  7. Instructor and Course Name
  8. “Undergraduate Poetry Award” clearly marked

Submissions are anonymous.

Winners will be announced at the Creative Writing Awards ceremony in April 2017 and their names posted on the department website.

Questions? Contact Andrea Laurion

Revised 09/13/2017
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