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Excellence in Journalism Prize

In keeping with Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood’s wish that the Hopwood Awards would encourage students whose writing “exemplifies the new, the unusual, and the radical,” this new award seeks to commend outstanding student journalists whose narrative nonfiction is particularly artful, incisive, thought-provoking, literary, meaningful, and lasting. This category is open to all current University of Michigan students, undergraduate and graduate.

Submission Guidelines

As with the other Hopwood contests, you may only submit once per category per awards cycle.

Please submit, as one PDF document, one piece of narrative nonfiction. 

You may choose to submit a piece that is included in your submission to this year's Hopwood Graduate or Undergraduate Nonfiction category, but you may not submit any piece that has been previously recognized by a Hopwood Awards Program award or prize.

Students who have been enrolled in the fall term but will not be enrolled in the following term (e.g., December graduates) may compete, provided they have fulfilled the above requirements. Such students must submit their manuscripts not later than December 4, 2019 by noon. This rule only applies to a few students. Students studying abroad may submit by January 29, 2020 by noon.

Students may submit manuscripts with changes up until the 12 noon deadline.

Previous publication

This category is the only category with a current exception to the requirement that a submission must be unpublished. You may submit work that has been previously published in a newspaper or trade magazine; however, the piece must have been published within the time that you have been enrolled as a University of Michigan student in the capacity that you are currently enrolled. That is, if you have been both an undergraduate student and are currently a masters student, and published a piece of narrative nonfiction during your undergraduate career, that piece is no longer eligible for this prize.

Only original work may be entered in the contest. Collaborations, translations, and adaptations are not acceptable. Only the written portion of mixed-media manuscripts may be submitted.

The committee reserves the right to retain for its files one copy of each winning manuscript.

Entries should be in 10, 11, or 12 point font, with a left-hand margin of 1½ inches. A contestant must use a pen name, one that is entirely different from his or her real name. This name should only appear on the title page, nowhere else in the manuscript. Submissions should be in PDF format. 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
  • The contest entered (e.g. Excellence in Journalism Prize)