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Contests Open to Undergraduate Students

Submissions for the Hopwood Contests close strictly at the time of deadline.

You can find the deadline for the contests on the Hopwood Program Home Page - CLICK HERE.

While in past years the Hopwood Program sponsored Fall and Winter contests with different deadlines, in 2021 there were consolidated into one submissions deadline. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. 

A note for students graduating in December: please note that you should submit your manuscripts by the December deadline as stated on the Hopwood Program 

Once you have determined your basic eligibility, please follow the below links to more detailed information on each of the contests, or scroll down to view the brief summary of each contest.

For all Hopwood Program Contests and Awards: Contest submissions should be unpublished and should not be under consideration for publication OR accepted for publication at the time of the contest deadline.

This means that no manuscript - or partial manuscript - that has been published in a medium other than a college magazine or college newspaper may be entered in any contest. However, work that has been accepted for publication but that has not appeared in print by the time of the contest deadline may be entered.

General requirement: Must be enrolled in at least 6 credits

Undergraduates must be currently enrolled, or have been enrolled in the past two academic years, in a University of Michigan course. Qualifying courses are listed below.

Brief summary of our contests

The Hopwood Contests

  • These contests are open to all fully-enrolled University of Michigan Undergraduate and Graduate students (further eligibility requirements detailed at above link). Genres included in these contests are poetry, nonfiction, short fiction, novel, screenplay, and drama. 
  • These are the "big" Hopwood awards, in that there are the most number of genre categories, with the largest number of students eligible, and in that these prizes comprise the majority of the funds given each year.
  • The specific prizes open to Graduate students are: 
    • Hopwood Drama
    • Hopwood Novel
    • Hopwood Screenplay
    • Graduate Fiction
    • Graduate Nonfiction
    • Graduate Poetry
    • Theodore Roethke Prize 
Other Awards Administered by The Hopwood Program
  • There are five other contests you can submit to in January
    • The David Porter Award for Excellence in Journalism is open to all fully-enrolled University of Michigan students. This award seeks to commend outstanding student journalists whose narrative nonfiction is particularly artful, incisive, thought-provoking, literary, meaningful, and lasting. See the official award page (listed above) for specific eligibility requirements. 
    • The Kasdan Scholarship in Creative Writing is open to all fully-enrolled University of Michigan students, and genres included are screenplays and drama. The final judge(s) for this award are at the Kasdan Company.
    • There are a number of Single Poem Contests with varying eligibility.  These contests each recognize a single poem, but have separate entry requirements. Please read each page carefully. Graduate students are eligible for the following: 
      • The Academy of American Poets - Graduate Division
      • The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize
      • The Michael R. Gutterman Award

Qualifying Courses

This requirement does not apply to graduate students. 

Certain writing courses not listed below may also be used as qualifying courses. Check with the Hopwood Program Manager at least one week before contest deadline to determine course eligibility.

Email with inquiries about courses not listed here at least one week ahead of the contest deadline.

Ann Arbor Campus

Department of English Language and Literature:

  • 124, Academic Writing and Literature
  • 125, Writing and Academic Inquiry
  • 126, Community-Engaged Writing
  • 223, Creative Writing
  • 225, Academic Argumentation
  • 226, Directed Writing
  • 227, Introductory Playwriting
  • 229, Professional Writing
  • 323, Creative Writing: Fiction
  • 324, Creative Writing: Poetry
  • 325, Art of the Essay
  • 327, Intermediate Playwriting
  • 328, Writing and Environment; NELP (New England Literature Program)
  • 340, Studies in Poetry
  • 398, Junior Seminar in English Studies
  • 423, Advanced Fiction Writing
  • 424, Advanced Poetry Writing
  • 425, Advanced Essay Writing
  • 426, Directed Writing
  • 427, Advanced Playwriting
  • 428, Senior Creative Writing Tutorial
  • 429, Writing of Poetry
  • 509, Language and Literature
  • 540, Word-work: Reading, Writing, and Teaching Creative Nonfiction
  • 569, Creative Nonfiction
  • 577, Independent Study in Writing

Other Departments/Programs:

  • Residential College — The following Residential College courses may be used for qualification: 100, 220, 221, 222, 242, 300, 320, 321, 322, 325, 326, 410, 425, 426
    • Note: The Residential College offers a number of courses in composition which students may use to qualify for the Hopwood Contests. Most of these are open to non-Residential College students. See the Residential College Creative Writing bulletin for details.
  • Honors Theses — Honors theses courses in all departments qualify for the Hopwood Contest.
  • Other — The following other courses qualify for the Hopwood Contest:
    • Sweetland Center for Writing (Writing) courses carrying at least 2 credits
    • Classical Civilization: 101
    • Lloyd Hall Scholars Program: 125, 130, 165, 228, and 230
    • Great Books: 191 (Note: Great Books 192 does not qualify)
    • Public Policy: 495
    • Screenwriting: 308, 310, 311, 410, 411, 423, 427, and 499
  • Email with inquiries about courses not listed here at least one week ahead of the contest deadline.

Dearborn Campus

Department of English:

  • (ENGL):223, 310, 322, 323, 327, 328, 331, 467, 468


  • COMP: 106, 220, 270, 280, 2015
  • JASS: 310, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 338, 402, 436, 467, 2015, 3015
  • Email with inquiries about courses not listed here at least one week ahead of the contest deadline.

Flint Campus

Department of English:

  • (ENG):109, 110, 111, 252, 295, 296, 297, 298, 309, 338, 354, 392, 393, 397, 398, 399


  • THE: 390
  • COM: 225, 338

Email with inquiries about courses not listed here at least one week ahead of the contest deadline.