2023-2024 University of Rhode Island Writing Award

The 2023-2024 University of Rhode Island Writing Award celebrates the best writing produced by both URI undergraduate and graduate students. The Awards will recognize work that has an impact; understands audience, purpose, and form; and demonstrates rigor and precision. We especially welcome writing that reflects the diverse perspectives of underrepresented groups. Multi-media and co-authored submissions are encouraged. Writers must be currently registered URI students now and at the time of the award in March 2024. Visits to the undergraduate or graduate writing centers or consultation with a faculty member for feedback are strongly recommended. The Award submissions are judged by a panel of faculty from across the colleges at URI. The winning submission in each category may receive an award of $1,000. Awards will be announced in late April 2024.

submit by march 1, 2024


  • Advocacy: Writing that gets things done, that makes a case, that changes the world/community. Judges in this category will look particularly for how the writing persuades its audience about a significant issue.
  • Scholarly/ Research: Writing that uses primary and/or secondary sources to pursue a line of inquiry. Judges in this category will look particularly for depth of scholarship, professional presentation, and rigor.
  • Science Writing: Writing that explains scientific ideas/issues to educate and inform the general public. Judges in this category will look particularly for accessibility, clarity, and relevance.
  • Creative: Writing accepted under either subcategory: (a) non-fiction (b) fiction (c) poetry. Judges in this category will look particularly for inventiveness, insight, and craft.


Writers will submit (1) the writing artifact and (2) a context statement.

Eligibility and Contest Rules

  • The judges will consider writing produced by any student, submitted for credit in spring, summer, or fall semester of 2023; or written outside of a course (for an external project, community work, etc.) in 2023.
  • Only one entry per student. Students must choose one category in which to enter their work. If you are unsure which category applies, contact the Award administrator. Judges reserve the right to consider it under a different category.
  • All writers must be currently registered matriculating URI students now and at the time of the award in March 2024.
  • Co-authored works with other student writers may be submitted in any category. Any awards granted will be split equally among co-authors.
  • Submissions are due by 5 pm on March 1, 2024 here.
  • Students will complete an entry form at the above link. Students should submit (a) a copy of their work and (b) a Context Statement giving some explanation about the writing submitted.
  • Context Statement: please provide some background to the writing submission. (1) Explain how your writing meets the description of the category to which you are submitting. (2) Describe where and how the submission was developed. (3) Describe what has resulted from this writing (recognition, action, course grade).
  • Submissions should be no more than one chapter; one article; or 20 pages.
  • Students will attest on the entry form that the work they are submitting is their own work, and that they grant permission for their work to be published by URI for promotional purposes.
  • Any AI tools used, at any stage of the writing process, must be declared and detailed in the Context Statement. 
  • The judges reserve the right to consider a submission in a category other than one to which the student submitted.
  • Students will retain copyright to their work.
  • In the event that a high standard is not met by entries in any category, judges reserve the right to withhold awards in that category for that year.
  • Submitted work need not be identical to the version of the work that was submitted for class credit or for any outside purpose. In fact, students are strongly encouraged to further revise their work prior to submission in consultation with the Undergraduate Writing Center, the Graduate Writing Center, a faculty member, or a colleague/friend.
  • Any writing co-authored with a faculty member will not be considered for this student Award.


If you have any questions about the process, please contact Writing Across URI at writingacrossuri@etal.uri.edu. Download a PDF of these instructions here.

Award Announcements

Results of the competition will be announced in late April 2024.