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 Fall 2023 Creative Writing Contest

The  Creative Writing Special Interest Group of the Howe Writing Center invites all Miami writers to engage with the current student art exhibit “It's Our World” at the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum, by first viewing the exhibition and then writing a piece of flash fiction (limit 500 words) in response to an artwork of your choice and related to our theme of environmental justice. Your piece of flash fiction should be imaginatively inspired by the artwork, but it should also tell a story of its own. That is, we are not asking for an analysis or description of the artwork, but a creative response to it.

Your story must incorporate at least 3-4 elements of the artwork (such as color, composition, texture, mood, characters, objects, settings or others). Your story should also consider some aspect of environmental justice you see exhibited by the artwork: how humans and the environment may impact each other, and the questions this can raise.

A digital display of the exhibit will open on October 18.  However, we encourage writers to see the artwork in person if at all possible.  

Submissions must be accompanied by a well-developed writer’s statement (up to 300 words) that:

  • Identifies the title of the artwork
  • Explains why you chose it
  • Details the elements of the artwork you included in your story
  • Explores the challenges you faced in writing this piece and how you solved them

Deadline for submissions:  November 10, 2023

Submissions will be scored on both the creative piece and the writer’s statement. 

Prizes:

  • 1st place:  $100
  • 2d place: $75
  • 3d place: $50
  • Staff Choice:  $50

Prize winners will be announced by November 30, 2023.