department of english

114 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

Main Office: 401.874.5931 - Graduate Office: 401.874.4663

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English Department Writing Contests

The following writing contests, sponsored by the Department of English, are open to both undergraduates and graduates:

  • The Nancy Potter Short Story Contest
  • The Nancy Potter Poetry Contest
  • The Creative Nonfiction Contest
  • The Critical Essay Contest


The same piece may not be submitted to more than one of these contests or to any other contest at the University of Rhode Island, including the Rumowicz Maritime Essay Contest.

By Creative Nonfiction, also called Literary Nonfiction, we mean literary memoir; literary journalism; essay; autocriticism; or, multi-genre nonfiction. If you are unsure whether your non-fiction falls under this rubric, consult, for example the literary journals Fourth Genre; Creative Nonfiction, and Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.)


  • Up to 5 pages of poetry, 3-12 pages of fiction or creative non-fiction, or a 5-20 page critical essay
  • Double-spaced, standard margins, standard typeface (poems may be single spaced)
  • Name on cover page only (for anonymous judging)
  • Story title, creative non-fiction title, or critical essay title on cover page and first page
  • Poem titles should also be listed individually on the cover page
  • Submissions should be in PDF format

Title Page

  • Title of contest you are entering
  • Undergraduate or graduate status
  • Story title, essay title, or poem titles
  • Title or number of the course for which submission was written
  • or state submission not written for a course
  • Student name
  • Home address & campus address (if applicable)
  • Phone number(s), email address

Submit one PDF file with title page followed by story, essay, or poems to The deadline for contest submissions is March 21, 2017. For questions, please contact 401-874-5931. Click here for flyer.




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