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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.

2019-20 Guidelines

Genre: Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is a type of prose that employs the literary techniques usually associated with fiction or poetry to create factually accurate narratives. The genre of creative nonfiction is broad enough to include travel writing, nature writing, science writing, literary journalism and reportage, general-interest criticism, argumentative or idea-based essays, interviews, personal essays, and memoirs.


  • 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 2020 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Submissions must be 5,000 words or less, in English, and unpublished.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 17, 2020
  • Notification of Results: April 2020
  • 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 venta, Mixtitlan, 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. She lives in St. Louis and Taos and is a member of the Society of the Muse of the Southwest.
  • Patricia Gregory is assistant dean for library assessment at SLU.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rachel Greenwald Smith is associate profesor of English at SLU in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature.


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.