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Library Associates Undergraduate Writing Award

The Library Associates Undergraduate Writing Award honors undergraduate literary achievement in three genres: short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

2020-21 Guidelines


Short Fiction


  • First Prize: $500 and publication in The Kiln Project
  • Second Prize: $300 and publication in The Kiln Project


The contest is limited to SLU and SLU-Madrid undergraduates with active enrollment status in the Spring 2021 semester.

Submission Requirements

Submissions must be 5,000 words or less, in English, and unpublished. There is a limit of two entries per person. Entries must be in 12-point Times New Roman font, formatted with one-inch margins, and saved as a PDF. Do not include your name, email, or other identifying information in your submission, as entries are judged anonymously; our online form links your name with your entry. Simultaneous submissions to other contests are allowed. Entrants retain all rights to their work.

Submit Your Entry


  • Submission Deadline: February 22, 2021
  • Notification of Results: April 2021
  • Award Presentation Ceremony: TBD


Entries are judged anonymously by the following panel:

  • Philip Boehm has translated more than thirty novels and plays by German and Polish writers, including Herta Müller, Franz Kafka and Hanna Krall. For these translations he has received numerous awards including fellowships from the NEA and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He also works as a theater director and playwright: works for the stage include Alma en ventaMixtitlan, and Return of the Bedbug. He is the founding Artistic Director of Upstream Theater in St. Louis, which in 2012 was awarded a National Theatre Company grant by the American Theatre Wing (Founder of the Tonys).
  • Mark Chmiel is adjunct professor of humanities and intercultural studies at Maryville University and author of The Book of Mev.
  • Lyna Colombo is a senior editor for a Fortune 500 consulting company and has managed her own consulting business. She lives and works in St. Louis and Taos, and her clients have included the Los Angeles Community College District and a NASA-Google partnership, Planetary Ventures. She is a longstanding member of the Society of the Muse of the Southwest.
  • Ryan Krull is assistant teaching professor in the Department of Communication and Media at University of Missouri-St. Louis, teaching news and feature writing. As a journalist, he has published in The Atlantic, the Riverfront Times, and elsewhere. He is also interviews editor for the literary magazine Boulevard.
  • Jennifer Lowe is rare books librarian at SLU and chair of the Library Associates Undergraduate Writing Award Committee.
  • Ted Mathys is the author of Gold Cure (Coffee House Press, 2020) and three previous books of poetry. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Poetry Society of America, and his poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Boston Review, The Georgia Review, PBS NewsHour, and other publications. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is an assistant professor in the Department of English at SLU.
  • Frances Pestello has a Ph.D. in sociology and teaches for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SLU. She serves as vice-president of the Library Associates.


If your entry wins a cash prize, you agree to give Saint Louis University a nonexclusive license to publish your work online. We may ask you for permission to print your entry as well. Your entry will not be published in print without your consent, and you retain all other rights. You are free to publish your work in print or online elsewhere, and to enter it into other contests, whether or not you win a prize in this contest.


If you have questions, please email the contest administrator Katie Mascari.