Margaret Walker | Poetry Foundation


Creative Writing Contest Entry Form

The contest is open to any student, graduate or undergraduate, who is presently attending a College Language Association college or university--an institution where a member of CLA is employed or is a retiree emeritus. A student may enter the contest only through the sponsorship of an active CLA member--one who is current with their membership fees. Students should contact a CLA representative at their institution. The CLA representative will serve as the faculty sponsor on the official entry form only when they have determined that the submission has literary merit and meets all guidelines. 

  • Submissions Open: September 1
  • Deadline: December 31
  • Winners: $500/each
  • Honorable Mentions: $75/each

Official Contest Guidelines

Please read the following contest guidelines carefully, as submissions that do not conform to all guidelines will be disqualified.

  • Submissions must be typed in Times or Times New Roman, 12-point font, and be double-spaced. Pages should be numbered. The genre (poetry, fiction, or drama) of the submission should be listed on the first page of all submissions. In addition, word count should be listed on the first page of short fiction and drama entries. You will submit a separate document for each genre you are entering.
  • Students names should only appear in the CLA Creative Writing Contest Entry Form. The name and other identifying markings should not appear on any page of the work itself. 
  • Submissions must be unpublished. This also means that they do not appear on any websites, including personal blogs, Tumblr, etc.
  • For poetry, students may submit up to three poems; no poem should exceed thirty lines. For fiction, students may submit one story not to exceed 2500 words. For drama (short plays), students may submit one play not to exceed 5000 words.


A panel of three judges will evaluate entries. Submissions will be judged holistically (based upon originality, literary merit, characterization, and other elements of craft). There can be up to three winners and an honorable mention in each category. Winners of each category will receive $500 each and Honorable Mention recipients in each category will receive $75 each. CLA reserves the right not to administer awards if submissions are not deemed eligible or of satisfactory merit according to the judging criteria listed above.


Recipients of the Margaret Walker Memorial Prizes in Creative Writing will be notified in February. Names of the winners will also be announced at the annual CLA Convention Banquet. Checks will be mailed to winners. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Creative Writing Committee chair at [email protected]

Past Recipients