Writing contest guidelines


The Department of English Literature announces its annual student fiction contest for the WILLIAM PLUMER POTTER AWARDS, offering prizes of $500, $400, and $300.  Interested students should submit a PDF of a single piece of fiction of NO MORE THAN 20 PAGES (double-spaced, paginated, with 1-inch margins) to the ddohert1@swarthmore.edu by FRIDAY, MARCH 20 at 4:00 p.m.  Stories that have won previous Potter awards are not eligible for this year's contest.

The judge for the 2015 Potter Awards is novelist and alumna Maya Lang.  

Maya Lang's debut novel, The Sixteenth of June (Scribner), was long listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She was awarded a Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Fiction, and was a finalist for Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers. A graduate of Swarthmore College (class of 2000), she holds a Master's from NYU and a Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook in Comparative Literature. She lives outside of New York City and is currently at work on her second novel, Phinney & Maude.

Maya Lang will award the prizes and read from her own work on MONDAY, APRIL 13th at 7:30 p.m. in the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg


The Department of English Literature announces its annual poetry contests for the following prizes: The LOIS MORRELL Poetry Prize of $500 and the JOHN RUSSELL HAYES Poetry Prizes of $400 and $300. Interested students should submit PDF entries of up to five typed pages (no more than one poem per page) to ddohert1@swarthmore.edu by FRIDAY, March 20 at 4:00 p.m. Poems that have won previous Morrell and Hayes Awards are not eligible for this year’s contest. One of the John Russell Hayes Prizes has traditionally been awarded for translation. Students who submit translated work should be sure to include a copy of the poem(s) in the original language with their submissions. 

The judge for the 2015 Awards is poet and alumna Ariana Nadia Nash.  Ariana Nadia Nash is the author of the poetry collection Instructions for Preparing Your Skin (Anhinga Press, 2013), which won the 2011 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. She has also published the chapbook Our Blood Is Singing (Damask Press, 2012). She has won a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize and been a finalist for the Benjamin Saltman Award and an Edes Prize. She has also been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her work can be found in Rock & SlingPoet LorePainted Bride Quarterly, Cimarron Review, and Belleville Park Pages, among other journals. A 2006 graduate of Swarthmore College, Nash is currently a part-time lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Ariana Nadia Nash will award the prizes and read from her own work on THURSDAY, APRIL 16th at 7:30 p.m. in the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg.

2015 Morrell-Potter Summer Stipend in Creative Writing 

The Department of English Literature is pleased to announce its annual Morrell - Potter Summer Stipend in Creative Writing. This prize of $2500, intended to enable a summer's writing project, will be awarded to a student poet or fiction writer of exceptional promise, to be chosen by the Department's writing faculty. Students in this year's junior class who expect to return to the campus in the fall are invited to submit manuscripts of no more than 10 pages, in either poetry or fiction, along with a brief description of the project they hope to pursue. Send submissions to ddohert1@swarthmore.edu by 4:00 p.m., Friday February 13. 

Fiction manuscripts should be double-spaced with pages numbered, and no more than one poem should be included on a page. The writer awarded the Morrell-Potter Summer Stipend will give a reading during the next school year of work completed during the summer.