Creative writing contest submissions due by March 23

February 8, 2018
Dr. Kara Candito
Jennifer L. Knox
Barrett Swanson

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Humanities is currently accepting student submissions for the annual Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Awards Contest. The contest is open to all students who are enrolled at least part time at UW-Platteville.

All entries must be submitted to the Department of Humanities office, 323 Warner Hall (hard copies), or to Sara Koeller at (electronically) by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 23. Official contest guidelines are available in the Department of Humanities office or can be obtained by emailing Sara Koeller.

Students may submit up to three poems, 20 pages of fiction and/or 20 pages of creative nonfiction. Fiction submissions may consist of short stories, short short stories or excerpts of novels.

“This annual festival offers our students an invaluable high impact learning opportunity,” said Dr. Kara Candito, associate professor of creative writing and English literature at UW-Platteville and organizer of the festival. “Each year, they are exposed to new strategies and modes of presenting creative work. The Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest also celebrates high achieving undergraduate creative writers by providing them with a venue in which they can perform and collaborate with one another. Above all, our festival showcases the remarkable spirit of free and ethical creative expression on campus.”

Department of Humanities English faculty or staff will rank all entries to select finalists in each category.

The work of the finalists in poetry will be sent to guest judge Jennifer L. Knox, author of “Days of Shame and Failure” (2015), “The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway” (2010), “Drunk by Noon” (2007), and “A Gringo Like Me” (2007). Knox will determine the winners in the category. Knox will be the featured reader at the UW-Platteville Creative Writing Festival on Wednesday, April 25.

The work of the finalists in fiction and creative nonfiction will be sent to guest judge Barrett Swanson who will determine winners in each category. Swanson is the 2016-17 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and recipient of a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His short fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The New Republic, American Short Fiction, New England Review, Boston Review, Dissent, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Point, Ninth Letter and Mississippi Review.

Cash awards of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded to writers of the first- through third-place entries respectively in each category. No student is eligible to win more than one prize per category.

Student winners of the Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Awards will read their works alongside Knox at the Department of Humanities 2018 Creative Writing Festival on Wednesday, April 25 in the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery from 4-6:30 p.m.

The creative writing contest is named after Thomas Hickey, a former English composition and literature professor at UW-Platteville. Hickey taught at UW-Platteville for 42 years and served as a judge for the creative writing contest for nearly 10 of those years.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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