The University of Michigan-Dearborn Writing Awards promote and recognize excellence in writing among undergraduates.

Awards 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
The 2021 submission deadline has been extended! Deadline is now Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Download the 2021 flyer.

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


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 2020, Fall 2020, or Winter 2021 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 11, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be notified by June 18, 2021.

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 that exceed data uploading restrictions, submit a link to your work online via Word document and follow the regular submission process.

Submit your work using our online Submission Form.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 UM-Dearborn Writing Awards

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

Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine (English/LPA), Danielle DeFauw (Education, Health, and Human Services), R.J. Fox (External- Fiction), Jon Haller (External- Writing Through Image & Sound), Kalyan Kondapalli (Biological Sciences), Margaret Murray (Communication/LCC), Reb Livingston (External- Poetry), Kyhl Lydndgaard (External- Creative Non-Fiction), PF Potvin (Writing Program/LCC), Natalie Sampson (Health and Human Services), Alicia Schaeffer (Writing Program/LCC), John Taylor (Writing Center, Writing Program/LCC).



  1. Giovanna Piza Del Rio: "What They Don’t Know"
  2. Ammany Al Halabi: "Chocolate Ice Cream"
  3. Sasha Shaikh: “Grey”

Honorable Mention:

  • Katarina Moore: "How To Write A Poem"
  • Adria Elmadari: "Untitled #2"



  1. Ellie White: “On Earth Briefly Gorgeous”
  2. Richard Tharrett: “Moving MoTown”
  3. Isabella Martincic: “Not my Grandma”

Honorable Mention:

  • Elizabeth O'Hotzke: “Ancient Feminism” 
  • Heba Fardoun: “Cell Theft” 


Researched Writing

 1. Griffin Bray: “Effectiveness of Environmental Interpretation in Promoting Pro-Conservative Attitudes”

 1. Kaitlyn Tatro: “Light Energy”

 3. Keri Turner: “An Immigrant’s Mental Health: A Systematic Review of Undocumented Immigration and Mental Healthy Services”

Honorable Mention:

  • Hannah Farmer: “Is This How You Talk to All Women Who Are Having a Heart Attack? A TV Show’s Portrayal of Heart Attacks in Women”
  • Hana Grahl: “This is Not Your Ashtray: The Cultural Offense from Insensitive Tourism in Japan and Around the World”


Bill Linn Fiction Prize

  1. Michelle Giannoulakis: “New Beginning”
  2. Lena Hakim: “The Python Club ”
  3.  Adria Elmadari: “Untitled”

Honorable Mention:

  • Batoul Hammoud: "Through the Mirror"
  • Connor A. Kohls: "A Hot Day in the Market"


Writing Through Image & Sound

  1. Emily Schmidt:​​​​​​ “Shoebox Island”
  2. Donna Glisman:​​​​​​ “The Lake: Erie or Eerie?”
  3. Griffin Bray: “Rekindling the Green Fire”

Honorable Mention:

  • Christina Lai: “Choose Your Cards Wisely”


Writing in the Public Sphere

  1. Zeinab Alsheraa: “Media Analysis Paper: The Poseidon Adventure”
  2. Benjamin Wixson: “The Cost of Segregation: Insurance Prices in Detroit” 
  3. Lena Hakim: “Be The Effect: How Female-Focused Fitness Centers Create an Empowering Micro-Community”

Honorable Mention:

  • Adam Groat: “Social Injustice Inside the U.S. Criminal Justice System”
  • Ali K Haidous: “Covid 19 Essay”


First-Year Writing

  1. Salam Kamal Aldeen: “Family Story: A Country Without Spring”
  2. Farwa Akbari: “Literary Autoethnography: The Pressing Question”
  3. Zahraa H Kassem: “Michigan’s Move Toward Abortion”

Honorable Mention:

  • Julia Evasic: “Women in Power” 
  • Megan Faulkner: “The Psychology Behind COVID-19: The Effect of Quarantine on The American Individualistic Society”


Creative Non-Fiction

  1. Hussein Chammout: "What It Takes to Be a Writer "
  2. Penny Lyn Kane: "The Things I Carry "
  3. Griffin Bray: "Along the Hidden Lake"

Honorable Mention:

  • Elissa Gonzalez: "Sucking at Life"


Science/Technical Writing

  1. Sierra Stockwell, Christine Kakish, Melissa Paul, Farheen Vali: “University of Michigan-Dearborn Aerospace Program”
  2. Isabella Martincic: “Technology Based Teaching Methods for Adults with Autism”
  3. Brandon Klein: “The Domestication Syndrome”

Honorable Mention:

  • Rhythm Anshi Sharma, Anna Mitrofan, Rachel Kennelly: “Recycling and Composting Program at the University Center” 
  • Ethan Pelkie, Nicholas Shute, Hassan Moshaymesh, Hussein Chaaban: “Recommending a Smart Parking Solution for UM-Dearborn” 


2020 Awards Celebration

The 2020 University of Michigan-Dearborn Writing Awards Celebration

November 5, 5-6 pm
Join via Zoom

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.



CASL Building
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