The Winona Prize in Creative Writing

The Winona Prize in Creative Writing

2017 Winners of the Winona Prize

2017 Winona Prize Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Winona Prize in Creative Writing:

  • Sajda Omar, for her story "Ruby" selected by Sheila O'Connor
  • Charlie Utzman, for his poem "How Not to Be a Poet" selected by Mark Wunderlich
  • Danielle Eberhard, for her essay "Here's to the Bitch Faced Girls" selected by Kent Cowgill

We were pleased to have such a strong group of submissions in each genre. Their winning submissions have been published in the WSU literary and arts magazine Satori (PDF).

About the Winona Writing Prize

Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the WSU English Department is pleased to offer The Winona Prize in Creative Writing contest. There will be three prizes for $1500 awarded:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction

The gift is intended to encourage WSU students in their writing and literary pursuits, while helping them financially to reach their educational goals.

The donor, a WSU graduate, grew up in a home where reading and the value of words were prized.  He 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.”   

Manuscripts will be screened 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.

Contestants must be undergraduate students enrolled full-time and in good standing at Winona State University (minimum of 12 credits per semester, fall and spring.)

Students from all disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply; however, contestants must have completed a creative writing course at WSU. This includes Introduction to Creative Writing (English 222) or any upper-level creative writing course.  

All submissions are due Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 by 5pm. Please submit your hard copy to Candi McKeeth in the English Department Office 304 on Minne 3rd floor.

Students may submit no more than one entry in each genre; for poetry “one entry” may include up to 3 poems.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

All entries must be submitted in hard copy, 12-point font, double-spaced. The page limit is 25 pages.   


All entries must be submitted in hard copy, 12-point font, single-spaced. For poetry, the prize is for a single poem.  As noted above, poets may submit a manuscript of up to three poems, which will be considered one submission.

All Submissions

All submissions must be the writer’s own work and unpublished in any form.

Each entry must be stapled and include the following items:

  1. A cover sheet with the student’s name, email and contact information, and genre of submission.
  2. A one paragraph biography.
  3. A clear photocopy of the student’s DARS report, with the qualifying creative writing class circled or highlighted.
  4. The manuscript itself.
  • Submissions that do not meet the guidelines will be discarded.  
  • No electronic submissions.
  • Submissions will be submitted to the English office.
  • All submissions are final.

Winners will be announced by Feb. 1, 2018. Winners will be published in Satori in April.