Student poetry, fiction sought for annual ASU writing awards

Naira Kuzmich receives award

Do you have a Pulitzer Prize-winning story in you? What about a Swarthout Award?

Now through March 18 is your chance to find out. ASU student writers are invited to submit poetry and fiction for the annual Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Awards in Writing at Arizona State University.

One of the top five creative writing prizes in America for undergraduate and graduate writers, the Swarthout Awards in Writing were established in 1962 by celebrated authors Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout. One hallmark of the awards is that they are open to students in all departments and schools at ASU, not just students from creative writing or English programs. Writers must be under age 26 by the submission deadline of 4 p.m. on March 18. A complete set of rules and guidelines can be found here:

“Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Swarthout Awards in 2012, we were happy to note that the series has supported nearly 400 emerging writers at Arizona State University,” said Corey Campbell, creative writing program manager. “Many of our alumni cite these awards at the first step in their path to becoming authors.”

Alumnus Adam Johnson (B.A. Journalism ’92), author of "The Orphan Master’s Son" and now an associate professor of English at Stanford University, won the Swarthout Award in fiction in 1992. “Winning the Swarthout Prize as an undergraduate was my first validation that maybe this thing could happen and so thanks to the Swarthouts for making that happen,” he said.

Alumnus Robert Yen (J.D. ’81), who won the award in poetry in 1976, said, “At the time, I was grateful for the Swarthout Award because, well – it helped to pay for rent and groceries. But I was most grateful because the award told me there was value in words, value in ideas, and value in what I was doing. That was a powerful message for a young person. It still is.”

The Swarthout Awards in Writing are administered by the creative writing program in the Department of English, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Media contact:
Kristen LaRue,
Department of English, CLAS