Awards & Scholarships

The English Department offers several monetary awards for student writing. Contests for the 2023–24 academic year will open in the spring. When submitting, students should email their submissions to our Office Manager; in the subject line of your email, please indicate the name of the writing contest to which you're submitting. We will announce the contest deadline in the spring. 

All contests are limited to one entry per student. Unless otherwise noted, all submissions should include a cover sheet that includes the contest name, the student's name, student ID number, student address, and the title of the entry. Because submissions will be read blindly, you should not include your name or any identifying information on the submission itself. Click on the links below to see more details for each award.

category: essay
eligibility: UAF undergraduate freshman students

Farthest North Fiction Contest – $100
     category: one short story or novel chapter
     eligibility: UAF undergraduate students

Northern Lights Essay Contest – $100
     category: nonfiction personal essay or journal entries
     eligibility: UAF undergraduate and graduate students

Derick Burleson Poetry Contest (Undergraduate) – $100
     category: set of three poems
     eligibility: UAF undergraduate students

 Derick Burleson Poetry Contest (Graduate) – $100
     categoryset of three poems
     eligibility: UAF graduate students

E.L. Bartlett Contest for Literary Criticism –$100
     category: critical essay or literary analysis
     eligibility: UAF undergraduate and graduate students
     criteria: critical paper written in an upper-division or graduate level literary course at UAF. Writing can be from the Spring, Summer, or Fall 2023 or Spring 2024.

Harold McCracken Award for Outstanding Writing about Alaska and the North Country – $150
     category: fiction or nonfiction writing
     eligibility: all students enrolled within the University of Alaska system
     note: submissions should not exceed 30 double-spaced pages

Minnie E. Wells Award for Literary Criticism – $200
     category: critical essay or literary analysis
     eligibility: UAF undergraduate students who have not yet earned a Bachelor's Degree
     criteria: essays written during Spring, Summer, or Fall 2023 or Spring 2024. Submissions are limited to work produced in upper-division or graduate-level literature courses offered by the UAF Department of English.

George W.  McDaniel Writing Fund – $1,000 (multiple awards when funding allows)

*Please note that UAF Financial Aid is working on providing us with an updated link to the scholarship application.  Please contact our Office Manager for further information until that link is provided.  Thank you!

     eligibility: UAF Creative Writing graduate students
     criteria: applicants should demonstrate motivation, academic achievement and leadership potential
     application process: TBD 
     note: the next deadline will be March 31, 2023

Caroline Musgrove Coons Writing Scholarship – tuition reimbursement
     award: recipients will use scholarship earnings to reduce or completely defray the cost of tuition for one academic year
     eligibility: full-time sophomore and junior English majors at UAF
     submission: creative or academic writing samples no longer than 25 pages; a letter detailing their educational goals and a letter of recommendation from a university faculty member (see award announcement linked above for further details and cover letter form)
     requirement: Recipients must take an advanced writing course during the scholarship support year (see award announcement for further details)