40th Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest

We're now accepting submissions for the 40th Annual Statewide UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The contest began in 1981, the brainchild of newly arrived UAA English professor Ronald Spatz, who wanted to encourage new writers of all ages. He coordinated the contest with the Anchorage Daily News team until 2010. Since then, the Alaska Center for the Book has served as the coordinating partner, providing hundreds of volunteer hours to manage entries, judging, and contacting winners—the best part of all.


This year more than 400 entries were submitted for the 2022 contest. We are always pleased to see entries from classrooms across Alaska, and from writers ages 5 to 84. Entries arrived from writers in Anchorage, Big Lake, Chugiak, Cooper Landing, Cordova, Craig, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Eagle River, Ester, Fairbanks, Gakona, Girdwood, Homer, Juneau, Kake, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Palmer, Sitka, Skagway, Soldotna, Sterling, Sutton, Talkeetna, Tenakee Springs, Unalakleet, Utqiagvik, Valdez, Wasilla, and Willow.


The full text for last year's first-place winning entries can be found online at LitSite Alaska.


The 2022-2023 Statewide Creative Writing Contest will open for entries on Sunday, November 6th and close on Wednesday, February 15th.

Winners are eligible for the following cash prizes:

Story

Grade K-2 ... $25

Fiction

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Non-fiction

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Poetry

Grade K-2 ... $25

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Grand Prize: $200 | Editor's Choice: $100

Creative Writing Contest Rules

1) The contest is open to Alaska residents. College students who maintain Alaska residency may enter. All judges, editorial or administrative employees of Anchorage Daily News, faculty or administrative employees of the University of Alaska and board members of the Alaska Center for the Book, and their immediate family are ineligible.

2) Work published previously in any copyrighted newspaper, magazine, book or other medium is ineligible. Writing for school publications may be entered. Entries must be original.

3) Contestants may enter one work of fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), one work of non-fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), and up to three poems. A contestant may enter all categories in their age group.

4) Each submission requires a separate completed entry form.

5) Entries should be entered through the website at adn.com/creativewritingcontest no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2023. Only entries in digital format will be accepted.

6) No submissions will be returned.

7) Panels of Alaska judges, recruited among writers, teachers, librarians, and booksellers, judge entries for each category. (Teachers will not judge their own students’ entries.) A separate panel of judges will select the Grand Prize winner. Judging and winner notification will be completed no later than May 5, followed by an announcement in Anchorage Daily News.

8) The author retains the copyright to the submitted work, and agrees to publication in Anchorage Daily News, print and online editions, and on the University of Alaska Anchorage’s LitSite Alaska website. Winners may be asked to provide a photo to appear with their entries.

9) The decisions of the judges are final. Submission indicates acceptance of all contest rules.

Questions about the Creative Writing Contest should be e-mailed to creativewritingcontest@adn.com.