Each spring, the writing department sponsors a series of writing contests to honor and celebrate the creative and critical work of Ithaca College students. Categories include first-year essay, poetry, hybrid, short story, long-form, personal essay, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, feature/magazine, and humor/satire. Winners are awarded a gift certificate for use at Buffalo Street Books and an invitation to read at the annual contest awards ceremony.

Beyond these recognitions, the writing contests are a crucial element to a student’s holistic education in writing. These contests offer students incentives to put their education into practice through revision, submission, and, if selected as winner, performance and presentation. It is our hope that these contests serve, also, as gateways so that students may become proficient in seeking out potential markets for their work, adhering to guidelines, and submitting work.  

On this page, you will find an archive of previous winners and updates on guidelines when contests are in session. Submissions that are selected as winners by judges are no longer published on this site.

The 2019 winners have been announced!

The contests are managed by a coordinator (Raul Palma, Assistant Professor), who is responsible for ensuring that the highest ethical practices are adhered to in judging student work. To this end, submissions are designated an identification number and stripped of the author’s name before they are forwarded to judges. Each category is judged by, at least, two Ithaca College faculty members. In the event that a judge recognizes a student’s work, that judge must notify the coordinator of a conflict of interest, so that it may be addressed in a manner that upholds the high ethics of the contest itself. For a list of judges and notices pertaining to the 2019 contests, click here.