The University of Michigan-Dearborn Writing Awards 2020 to promote and recognize excellence in writing among undergraduates will be made in the following categories:

  • Poetry
  • Bill Linn Fiction Prize
  • Researched Writing
  • Creative Non-fiction
  • Writing Through Image and Sound
  • Writing in the Public Sphere
  • First-Year Writing
  • Honors Writing
  • Scientific/Technical Writing


$7,500 in total awards. Awards made possible by the Office of the Provost and the UM-Dearborn Annual Fund Program.

For more information, download the 2020 Writing Awards Flyer.


  • Contest Rules

    Rules subject to update


    If you’re an undergraduate enrolled at the University of Michigan—Dearborn for at least six hours during the Summer 2019, Fall 2019, or Winter 2020 semesters, you’re eligible to enter the Writing Contest.

    You may submit work in up to three categories, but only one entry per category. You may not submit the same entry in multiple categories. Winning a first-place award in a category makes you ineligible to enter that category in subsequent years.

    All entries must be your original work; for collaboratively-created projects, include the names of all authors/creators and detail the contributions of each individual on the entry form.

    Entries may not have been previously published (except in student publications).

    Final submission deadline is May 8, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be notified by June 19, 2020.

    Awards will be reviewed and approved by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In the case of debts owed to the University, awards will be applied to outstanding balances.



    Poetry: May be of any length. Up to 3 poems as a single entry

    Bill Linn Fiction Prize: Up to 30 double-spaced pages; one story per entrant

    Creative Non-fiction: Up to 30 double-spaced pages; one essay per entrant

    Honors Writing: Writing completed for any Honors course, including COMP 110 & 220

    First-year Writing: Writing completed in COMP 105, 106, 227, 270 & 280

    Researched Writing: e.g., the critical essay or other researched writing making use of secondary and/or primary sources; up to 25 double-spaced pages

    Writing Through Image and Sound: E.g., Web-based writing, digital films with scripts, music and scores, projects that incorporate both text, sound, and/or visual elements

    Writing in the Public Sphere: Writing completed in Academic Service Learning courses, service learning or community-based writing projects, projects related to advocacy or activism, writing about current events

    Scientific / Technical Writing: Writing completed in COMP 270, researched projects and/or investigative reports in engineering and natural sciences


    Manuscript Format

    To ensure objectivity, you must invent a Pen Name. A pen name is a fictitious name that is not your legal name. Your legal name can only appear on the entry form. Neither the judges nor the administrators of the contest will know your identity until the winners have been determined. Type your pen name only on every page of your manuscript.

    Each written manuscript must be typed, double-spaced, and uploaded using the online submission system. Label your file with the title only (or titles, for poetry) of your manuscript, ex. Tom's Left Foot.doc. 

    For multiple media projects that include sound/pictures and/or video, submit three copies of your CD or DVD labeled with your pen name, your ID number, and the title of your project to the Writing Program Office, 3018 CASL Building. Please note that submissions cannot be returned.

    Submit your work using our online Submission Form.

  • Winners

    Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 UM-Dearborn Writing Awards

    Special thanks to our UM-Dearborn judging panel and external judges:

    Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine (LPA), Danielle DeFauw (Education, Health, and Human Services), Susan Erickson (LPA), Thom Foy (Writing Program/LCC), R.J. Fox (external- fiction), Jon Haller (external- Writing Through Image & Sound), Margaret Murray (Communication), Reb Livingston (external- poetry), Kyhl Lydndgaard (external- creative non-fiction), PF Potvin (Writing Program/LCC), Pamela Todoroff (Writing Program/LCC), Lin Van Nieuwstadt (Engineering) 



    1. Ayah Assaf: “How Many Languages Do You Speak”
    2. Howraa Hammoud: “Empty Space”
    3. Mallory Lloyd: “Recipe for one serving of a burning woman by Siegfried”

    Honorable Mention:

    • Peyton Miller: “The Little Blackbird”
    • Jordan Brown: “A Jakey”



    1. Katarina Moore: “Rethinking ‘Rethink Royal Oak’”
    2. Mackenzie Kortes: “Blood for Home, Toil for Rome”
    3. Joseph Hughes: “Technology: The Relationship of Estranged Beings”


    Researched Writing (note tie for 1st place and no 2nd place)

     1. Dale Browne:“Environmental Justice Methodology as a Tool for Mitigation of Global Climate Change Injustices”

     1. Jessica Cristiu: “Too Hot to Handle: How Rising Ocean Temperatures Hurt Life Histories of Marine Fish Species and Threaten Survival”

     3. Erin Azzopardi: “Deconstructing the Girl Effect: Rhetorical Representations of Girls in Development”

    Honorable Mention:

    • Brandon Queen: “Analysis of the Competence of Gisel Ruiz (Walmart Inc. C.O.O.), Sam’s Club and Walmart
    • Zeinab Esseili:“The Effect of Stress on Health and Illness: And the Relationship Between Coping Strategies¨ Social Support and Psychological Control”


    Bill Linn Fiction Prize

    1. Alexander Moore: “For the Kids”
    2. Amanda Saleh: “Home is Where You Already Are”
    3. Dawn Isby: “The Test”


    Writing Through Image & Sound

    1. Natalie Spala: “Advanced Media Production Final Project: Legally Blonde Analysis”
    2. Benjamin Wixson: “I’m Falling Apart”
    3. Aubree Stamper: “Hoop More, Worry Less”

    Honorable Mention:

    • Amelia Evasic: “Sunset Phases”


    Writing in the Public Sphere (note tie for 2nd place, no 3rd place)

     1. Elena Tyler: “Why We Must Continue to March: The Facts and Fake of Feminism”

     2. Reima Nasser: “The Heidelberg Project: The Manifestation of Historical and Artistic Elements”

     2. Jessica Atanasovski: “Media Analysis Final Project”


    First-Year Writing

    1. Whitney Washington: “DNA v. United States of America”
    2. Lindsey Burns: “Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality Rates”
    3. Penny Kane: “Advocating for Prisoners”

    Honorable Mention:

    • Grace Tate: “ALEC: Corporate America’s Trojan Horse” 


    Creative Non-Fiction

    1. Andrew Stout: "Manufactured Memories in Manufactured Spaces"
    2. Lena Hakim: "An American in Paris (of the Middle East)"
    3. James Carzon: "Putnam Up: A Small University's Fight Against a Giant Exam"

    Honorable Mention:

    • Penny Kane: "A Collection of Prison Experiences"
    • Kaylynn LaBean: "Butterfly Effect"
    • Dawn Isby: "Prone to Wander"


    Science/Technical Writing (note tie for 2nd place)

     1. Nagham Mehdi: “Fertilization success: a function of postcopulatory mechanisms mediated by an active female choice as well as sperm competition”

     2. Steven Najem: “Assessment of Student Mobility at the University of Michigan-Dearborn”

     2. Gadir Algahim: “Evolutionary arms race between bats and moths”

     3. James Carzon: “Using Writing Center Data for Decision Making”

  • Awards Ceremony

    The 2019 University of Michigan-Dearborn Writing Awards Ceremony

    Tuesday, October 22 

    Reception:  6:30 p.m.

    Ceremony:  7:00-8:00 p.m.

    Location to be announced

    Please join us to celebrate excellence in student writing. Student winners will read and present their work in fiction, researched writing, science/technical writing, creative non-fiction, writing through image and sound, first-year writing, Honors writing, poetry, and writing in the public sphere.

Department of Language, Culture, and Communication

CASL Building
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