Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature (NUCL)

The Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature seeks to provide an opportunity for undergraduate and advanced high school students in the Northwest to present their own scholarly or creative work to their peers. Participants are also invited to attend NUCL’s keynote speaker. On behalf of the NUCL, The University of Portland awards prizes and a scholarship for the best papers and works submitted, including the “Brass NUCL Award” for the hardest-hitting paper.

About the Conference
 The conference is open to college and university students as well as honors or advanced-placement high school students, and seeks to provide a forum for students to present their ideas about literature through analytical and research papers, followed by small group discussions of the papers.

 Original Scholarly, Analytical or interpretive papers no longer than 15-18 minutes when read aloud. Poems and creative essays that reflect reading experience in contemporary and creative non-fiction. Student poems need to submit 5-7 poems, and creative essays must be limited to 15 minutes when read aloud. For contest dates and other details, visit the NUCL website


Glimmer Train Writing Contests

Short Story Award for New Writers

Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled to appear, in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries must not have appeared in print, but previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

1st place: $2,500 | publication in Glimmer Train Stories | 10 copies
2nd place: $500*
3rd place: $300*

*Or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies of that issue

Very Short Fiction Contest
The Very Short Fiction Contest is open to all writers.  Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome.  They invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words. 

1st place: $2,000 | publication in Glimmer Train Stories | 10 copies
2nd place: $500*
3rd place: $300*

*Or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies of that issue


The Norton Writer’s Prize

The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,500. Two runners-up will each receive a cash award of $1,000.

Competition for the Norton Writer’s Prize is open to undergraduates enrolled during the current academic year in an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. Employees of Norton and their children are not eligible, nor are children of Norton authors. Each entry must be accompanied by a cover letter on departmental stationery from a nominating instructor.  Electronic submissions must include an attached scanned cover letter of departmental stationary. Each instructor may nominate only one student essay. The nominating instructor must provide a one-paragraph summary of the essay’s merits and should type out his or her name, address, phone number, email address, and title. For more information, visit the website of W.W. Norton & Co.


The Morton Marr Poetry Prize

The Morton Marr Poetry Prize is an endowment by Marilyn Klepak of Dallas in honor of her father, whose love of poetry has encouraged her to pass this love on to others. The first prize is $1,000 and the second place prize is $500. Both prizes earn publication in the Southwest Review.   For contest dates and details visit the website.