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David Porter Award for Excellence in Journalism

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 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.

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This category is the only category with a current exception to the requirement that a submission must be unpublished.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. Do not include information about previous publication with your submission. In the event that your entry wins the prize, immediately notify the Hopwood Program Manager about the publication credit so that it can be included in the announcement of the award.

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 1 inch. A contestant must use a pen name, one that is entirely different from their 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. David Porter Award for Excellence in Journalism)