Writing Contest Submission Guidelines

The Lois Morrell and John Russell Hayes Poetry Contests

Entry Deadline: Tuesday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m..

Submission Requirements:

  • Entries can be up to five typed pages with no more than one poem per page.
  • Clearly label an entry with your name and "Poetry".
  • Adhering to the deadline, send your entry as a pdf file to croeder1@swarthmore.edu.

Poems that have won previous Morrell and Hayes Awards are not eligible for this year’s contest.
One John Russell Hayes Prize has traditionally been awarded for translation. If you are submitting a translated work, be sure to include a copy of the poem(s) in the original language with your submission.


Poetry Judging: Julia Bouwsma ‘02 will judge and announce the winners at a reading on Thursday, April 5th, 7:30 PM in Scheuer.

Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, farmer, freelance editor, critic, and small-town librarian. She is the author of MIDDEN (Fordham, forthcoming 2018) and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017), and her poems and book reviews appear in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Muzzle, Salamander, RHINO, River Styx, and other journals. She is the recipient of the 2016-17 Poets Out Loud Prize, the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. A former Managing Editor for Alice James Books, Bouwsma currently serves as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.



The William Plumer Potter Fiction Contest

Entry Deadline: Tuesday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m.

Submission Requirements:

  • Entries should represent a single piece of fiction and be no more than 20 pages.
  • Entries must be double-spaced, paginated, with 1-inch margins and typed in 12-point font. The preferred font is Times New Roman.
  • Clearly label an entry with your name and "Fiction".
  • Adhering to the deadline, send your entry as a pdf file to croeder1@swarthmore.edu

Stories that have won previous Potter awards are not eligible for this year's contest. 


Fiction Judging: Novelist Ru Freeman will judge and announce the winners at a reading on Tuesday, April 24th, 7:30 PM in Scheuer.

Ru Freeman is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), a New York Times Editor's Choice Book. Both novels have been translated into several languages. Freeman edited the ground-breaking anthology, Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers on Palestine (2015), and her writing appears internationally, including in the UK Guardian, the New York Times, and Boston Globe. She blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics, and is a contributing editorial board member of the Asian American Literary Review. Freeman is the 2014 winner of the Sister Mariella Gable Award for Fiction, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. ​She teaches creative writing at Columbia University.