Hurston/Wright Foundation Award for College Writers


The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation is proud to host the annual Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, which is the only award of its kind that recognizes Black college writers. The award is the foundation’s first program. It was initiated to support emerging Black artists in fiction and poetry enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate school program anywhere in the United States.

Submissions for the award open October 3, 2016 and close February 1, 2017. Submissions will be judged by distinguished published authors in fiction and poetry.

Black writers who are full-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs at any university in the United States are eligible to submit a work of fiction or poetry for consideration.  They must be enrolled at the time of submission. Full-time student includes low-residency MFA programs. At this time, students in online-only courses of university programs are not considered eligible for the award.

Writers are ineligible if they have published books, including poetry chapbooks or fiction narratives, through any publishing platform.

All work submitted must be original and unpublished at the time of submission. Author name and contact details should be on a separate page. Only the title should appear on the work because judges will not know who submitted or what school the student attends.

Hurston/Wright does not accept work that is submitted simultaneously to multiple competitions. Therefore, we make every effort to notify writers by the end of April whether their submissions were accepted or not accepted.

Awards will be announced in May. Award winners and honorable mentions will be invited to attend the Legacy Award ceremony that is hosted in October in Washington, DC.

Works submitted to the competition may be published in whole or in part by Hurston/Wright online or print. In submitting for the competition, all writers agree to give the Hurston/Wright foundation permission to publish an excerpt of their work or the work in its entirety. The author retains all rights for their works.

Hurston/Wright maintains the right to decline any submission not deemed eligible.

Format Guidelines

The original creative work submitted should be formatted as follows:


No more than 20 pages of fiction, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font, and within 1-inch margins. Title of work should appear on each page. Do not include the author’s name on the pages of the work of fiction. Include a separate page with the title of the work, name and contact information of author, school and year of study.


Maximum of 3 poems. Total poetry submission should have a minimum line count of 120.

Do not include the author’s name on the pages of poetry. Include a separate page with the title of the work, name and contact information of author, school and year of study.

Questions may be sent to or mailed to our foundation headquarters at:

Hurston/Wright Award to College Writers
840 First Street, NE, Third Floor,
Washington, DC 20002

To apply go to

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