Creative Writing Contests

Part of the Howe Writing Center’s mission is to help cultivate a culture of writing that honors a range of voices and perspectives at Miami. That’s why each semester we host a writing contest open to submissions from any Miami undergraduate or graduate student writers. A group of our student consultants lead the contest process, coming up with the prompt, planning ideas for promoting it, and ultimately judging the entries.

We choose a new prompt each semester, typically one that feels resonant with the campus climate at the time. During the Fall semester, the contest opens in late October and the genre of writing varies. During the Spring, the contest happens around April and, in celebration of National Poetry Month, calls for poems. Entries are judged according to adherence to the prompt, a reflective writer's note, and the piece itself. First and second prizes are awarded, along with a staff choice prize, or, occasionally, an honorable mention. Winners receive prizes plus temporary publication on our website. Find the latest contest information, and browse past contest themes and winners

Follow us on Instagram (@HWCMiami), where we first announce our contests. Calls for submission will also be posted to this webpage. We hope to read your work as part of the next contest!

Finally, know that HWC consultants can support your creative writing in consultations. Simply find a consultant with a creative writing background on our staff page and schedule an appointment with them.

Announcing the Spring 2024 Creative Writing Contest: Nature Plays a Role: Writing Poetry from Children’s Books


Children’s books have long helped young readers to engage with nature through both images and words. The Howe Writing Center’s Spring 2024 writing contest invites Miami writers to produce a poem or poem sequence inspired by a work of children’s literature in which nature plays a role. We have selected a set of children’s books from the Miami Library collection that writers should reference for inspiration, including:

After reviewing the books held on reserve at King Library Circulation Desk, (under Poetry Writing Contest) writers will create a submission (no more than 500 words) inspired one of this book’s elements, whether the artwork, the storyline, the prose, or the themes. The poem(s) must meaningfully engage with the topic of nature or the environment. If writers choose to use a segment of book’s original text, writers should limit this to one line and give credit in the writer’s note. 

Along with the poem(s), writers should submit a 250-300 word writer’s statement outlining what in the book inspired their poem and what choices they made during their writing process.

Submissions are due Friday, April 19.  Winners will be announced the week of April 29. 

First Place:  $100

Second Place:  $75

Third Place:  $50

Staff Choice:  $50