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Summer Hopwood Contest

Rules of Eligibility

Only students taking writing courses in the spring or summer terms may apply.

All students in the spring/summer term, or in either half of the spring-summer term, who are regularly enrolled in one writing course (2-3 credits) in the Departments of EnglishCommunicationTheatre and Drama, or Screen Arts and Cultures are eligible to compete, except students who have already won a Graduate award in a Hopwood contest. This rule requiring a writing course is unwaivable. A literature course does not qualify a student, nor does a writing course from a previous term.

Eight awards are generally offered, two in each of the four fields of writing—drama or screenplay, nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry. Novels are not admissible in this contest. Prizes may be redistributed in the event that the merit in a particular field makes such redistribution desirable. Entries in each of the four fields are limited as follows:

  • No manuscript which has received a prize in any Hopwood contest shall be eligible in these contests.
  • No manuscript that wins an award in the summer contest is eligible in any subsequent Hopwood contest.
  • Manuscripts in the nonfiction and fiction areas must be between 15–40 pages in length. Poetry manuscripts must be within 10–40 pages, and the limit for screenplay manuscripts is 90–110 pages. Drama manuscripts should be approximately 50–60 pages for a one-act play and approximately 80–100 pages for a full length play.
  • No manuscript or part of a manuscript that has been published in a medium other than a college magazine or college newspaper shall be eligible.
  • Because of the difficulties multi-media manuscripts present to the judges, they are not acceptable.

Submissions should be in PDF format. Entries should be double-spaced in 10, 11, or 12 point font, with a left-hand margin of 1.5 inches (we bind the winning manuscripts).  Poems, plays, and screenplays need not be double-spaced throughout.  A contestant must use a pen name--entirely different from his or her real name. This name should only appear on the title page, nowhere else in the manuscript.  Please make sure the pen name you select in your registration matches the one on your PDF.  The same pen name must be used for all categories..

The PDF must have a title page on which shall appear: 

  • The title
  • The pen name (do not use your real name)
  • The contest and division entered (e.g., Summer Hopwood Poetry)

The committee reserves the right to keep on file one copy of each winning manuscript.  The committee will not be held responsible for the safety of any manuscript presented in the contest.

Note:  If you participate in need-based aid programs, be aware that your award  is considered a “resource” and could impact your award package.

Contest Deadline

The deadline for the 2017 Summer Hopwood Contest will be Friday, June 23 by 12:00 noon if a student is only enrolled spring half and Wednesday, August 2 by 12:00 noon if he or she is enrolled in both halves or in the summer half only. Contest deadlines are enforced to the minute.  Since last minute problems frequently arise, students are urged to turn in their manuscripts early.

Announcement of Awards

Names of the winners in this competition will be announced at the end of August. The Summer Hopwood Awards Ceremony will be held in the Hopwood Room on Thursday, September 21 at 3:30 p.m.