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Dean's Writing Awards

The Dean’s Office is offering awards for superior writing by Guilford College students. The submissions must be work completed in courses by Guilford students, though the Poetry and Fiction contests will accept pieces completed outside a Guilford course. You may submit only one piece per category. We encourage you to revise and polish your piece(s). All submissions must be received through this form. The submissions will be read by a group of Guilford College faculty and staff from across campus.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2024.

The Awards

Dean’s Award for First-Year Writing — $100

Submissions may deal with any subject in any field and may range from personal and original response to more conventional scholarly writing. We will judge the submissions on clarity, sensitivity, and insight — criteria that are as appropriate to an autobiographical essay as to a scholarly work.

Dean’s Award for Scholarly / Critical Writing — $100

For sophomores through seniors, this category accepts submissions from the arts, business and policy studies, humanities or social sciences. We will award first prize to the piece that explores an academic topic with the greatest originality and insight and the most engaging style.

Dean’s Award for Writing in the Physical, Natural and Health Sciences — $100

This category includes science writing for a general audience or for a scientifically sophisticated audience. Submissions can take the form of articles, formal lab reports, abstracts or proposals (at least 500 words), or digital posters. We will judge the submissions on suitability for the intended audience, value to the intended audience, clarity and scientific accuracy.

Jeff Jeske Prize in Journalism or Literary Nonfiction — $100

This prize honors the memory of Jeff Jeske, beloved colleague and writer, and will be presented to the student who best demonstrates a mastery of the art of journalism or literary nonfiction. Students must submit one essay, article, or comic (no longer than 20 pages) for consideration.

Sue Keith Prize in Fiction — $100

This prize honors Sue Keith, a longtime advocate of writers on campus, and will be presented to the student who best demonstrates a mastery of the art of fiction. Students must submit one short story or excerpt from a graphic or traditional novel (no longer than 20 pages) for consideration.

Betty Place Prize in Poetry — $100

This prize honors the memory of Betty Place, librarian and lover of words, and will be presented to the student who best demonstrates a mastery of the art of poetry. Students must submit three poems.


  • Submissions are limited to one per student per contest. Students entering the poetry contest must submit three (3) poems.
  • Dean’s Award for First-Year Writing is reserved for pieces completed in English 101 or English 102.
  • Dean’s Award for Scholarly/Critical Writing is limited to sophomores - seniors.
  • All pieces should have been written between March 2023 and March 2024.
  • Submissions should be presented in the format appropriate to the academic disciplines in which they were prepared, or in the case of an interdisciplinary piece, in the standard form most appropriate to the genre.
  • There are no length specifications except that the fiction entry must be no longer than 20 pages.

Submit Your Writing Sample

Please note: You must be logged into your Guilford email account to access the submission form. The name, username and photo associated with your Google account will be recorded when you upload files and submit this form.

Students walk near the Quad under changing leaves in the fall.