Creative Writing Contest

Contests, Requirements, Deadline, and Awards

Contests for 2020-2021

Students enrolled in grades 6, 7, or 8 in Texas and Oklahoma may submit one entry to the following contests:

  • The Gifted Pen Poetry Contest
    • Submissions must not exceed 25 lines.
  • Andy and Emily Klement Short Story Contest
    • Submissions must not exceed 1000 words.

Students enrolled in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12 in Texas or Oklahoma may submit one entry to the following contests:

  • The Keith King Memorial Poetry Contest
    • Submissions may not exceed 25 lines.
  • The Brad Dill Memorial Short Story Contest
    • Submissions may not exceed 1500 words.

Students (Full-time or part-time) enrolled at NCTC during the fall or spring semester of the current academic year may submit one entry to the following contests:

  • The Aspiring Poet Contest
    • Submissions may not exceed 50 lines.
  • The Gerald McDaniel Memorial Short Story Contest for NCTC Students
    • Submissions may not exceed 3500 words.
  • NCTC Creative Nonfiction Contest
    • Submissions should be a personal, informal essay. No documentation or research required. Submissions should not exceed 1500 words.
  • NCTC Expository Writing Contest
    • Submissions should be a formal essay with documentation and research cited and attached. No word restrictions.

Residents of Texas or Oklahoma who are neither students nor professional writers may submit one entry to the following contests:

  • The Garland Ray Wallace Poetry Contest
    • Submissions may not exceed 50 lines.
  • The Vivian Thomlinson Short Story Contest for Non-Professional Writers
    • Submissions may not exceed 3500 words.

Contest Guidelines

All entries must be submitted as either as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format document. 

Please do not include your name anywhere on your document. Please do include a title and the body of your work. 

Middle school and high school entries will be limited to the top 15 from each teacher for each category. Additionally, middle and high school work should reflect the tone, content, and diction appropriate for that age group.

For all contests, please try your best to avoid adult situations and rough language.

Resubmitted or previously published work is not allowed.

Deadline

All entries must be received no later than December 1, 2020.

Questions? Please contact Jacob Arnold at jarnold@nctc.edu.

Awards

Winners for each contest will be notified in early Spring. For each contest, the monetary awards will be as follows:

  • First Prize: $75
  • Second Prize: $50
  • Third Prize: $30

Other special awards will be presented as decided by the reading panel. The Ona Roberts Wright Award for Literary Excellence in Prose (essay or fiction) and the Layuna Hicks Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry, each with an additional $100 prize, will be awarded to the NCTC Students whose entries are deemed to possess outstanding literary merit. 

All awards will be presented at a ceremony TDB in the Spring 2021 semester. Prize-winning entries may be published as space permits in the college literary magazine, The April Perennial. Copies of the April Perennial will be available following the awards ceremony.

Submissions