The Winona Prize in Creative Writing

Get paid for your original work and become a published author before you graduate with the Winona Prize in Creative Writing.

Undergraduate students from all disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. There are 3 prizes for $1500 awarded: 

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction

Manuscripts are reviewed by the creative writing faculty. The final judges in each genre will be visiting writers from our John S. Lucas Great River Reading Series or other acclaimed authors published in the appropriate genre.

Winners will be announced by February and published in Satori during the spring semester.

Copies of the Satori literary magazine are set out on a table with a vase of flowers.
2023 Winona Prize Winners
Learn more about the contest through the eyes of the 2023 winners: Rachel Drenckhahn and Tyler Janssen.
How to Submit

To be eligible, you must be: 

  • an undergraduate student enrolled full-time at WSU
  • in good academic standing
  • have completed a creative writing course at WSU, such as Introduction to Creative Writing (ENG 222) or any upper-level creative writing course

All submissions must be the writer’s own work and unpublished in any form. Students may submit only 1 entry in each genre. 

Submissions are due to Minné 304 by Nov. 18.

Each entry must include the following items:

  1. A cover sheet with the student’s name, email, contact information, and the genre of submission
  2. A one-paragraph biography that includes the qualifying creative writing class and professor of the class
  3. A hard copy of the manuscript itself (not in digital form)
  4. Proof, by attaching a copy of your Degree Audit, of being currently enrolled in or having completed a Creative Writing course at WSU

Submissions that do not meet the guidelines will be discarded. All submissions are final.

Students sit together with books during an author event on campus.
A Gift of Words
Denis Duran ’70 and Dale Duran established The Winona Prize in Creative Writing contest in memory of their mother, Rosemary Duran, who valued reading. Denis states: “Early in life you hear about the power of words, but the more I read, the more I grew to appreciate the beauty of words. There is nothing more enjoyable than a story well told.”
Contact the English Department
Department of English
Minné 304

Office Hours

Monday–Friday: 8:30am-4pm

Summer hours may vary

Ann-Marie Dunbar
Department Chair, Professor

507.457.2431

Email Ann-Marie Dunbar
Claudia Richard
Office Manager

507.457.5440

Email Claudia Richard