Contests

Eligibility

The BYU Studies writing contests are open to all serious writers except employees of BYU Studies, their immediate families, and members of the Editorial Board.

Authors who receive an award are not eligible to compete in that category during the next year’s contest but may enter the other category.

All submissions must be in English.

Deadline

All entries must be received by email or postmarked on or before January 31, 2023.

Judging

Judging will be blind. Contest submissions should not include the name of the author. The judges reserve the right to withhold any award if no entry merits the ratings established.

Judging begins once the contest deadline has passed and takes approximately two months, depending on the number of submissions. We notify both winners and non-winners of the results by email.

Prizes

Contest winners and finalists will be published in issues of BYU Studies Quarterly during the subsequent year. Prizes will be awarded as follows for both the poetry and essay contests in the following amounts:

First Place: $1,500

Second Place: $1,000

Third Place: $500

Please be aware that taxes may be withheld from prize payments.

Right of First Refusal

Entering a contest indicates that you agree to give BYU Studies the right of first refusal to publish your poem or essay. We do not accept work that has been published or is under consideration elsewhere, that has previously won any award from another contest, or that may be the property of another publisher. Do not simultaneously submit your poem or essay to our contests and to any other periodical or writing contest. Authors may not submit contest entries for consideration to any other contest or publication until BYU Studies contest results are announced. In most cases, poems and essays published in BYUSQ are chosen from contest entries.

Formatting

No Identifying Information

Neither the name of the author nor any other identifying information should appear in the poems or essays themselves, including document headers and footers.

Font and Graphics

Please use a plain font, and do not include photographs or other graphics as part of your poem or essay. You may indicate in the submission form if you have appropriate graphics to add to your entry in the event that it is chosen for publication.

BYU Studies Contest Winners 2022

Poetry Contest

First (tie): What Her Missionary Son’s Letter Didn’t Say by Darlene Young

First (tie): Moon to Moon Nights by Dixie Partridge

Third (tie): Everything You Make With Your Hands by John Alba Cutler

Third (tie): In the Garden by John Alba Cutler

Honorable Mention: March Morning, New York City by David Passey

Honorable Mention: Cradled by Kevin Klein

Honorable Mention: New Deacon by Kevin Klein

Winners

First: The River Conception’s Mouth by David Thacker

Second: Salad Days by Alixa Brobbey

Third: After Anger by Daniel Teichert

Finalists

Boxwoods by Andrew Maxfield

From Cotton McGintey’s Rain Sermon by Warren Hatch

Holy Places by Merrijane Rice

Irresistible Burdens by Marilyn Bushman-Carlton

The Last Leaf by Ben de Hoyos

Migration by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

One Week Before Kindergarten by Alison Moulton

Essay Contest

Winners will be announced soon!

Winners

First: Fired from Carpool by Cristie Cowles Charles

Second: On the Necessity of Loss by Shamae Budd

Third: This Holy Mess by Sharlee Mullins Glenn.

Finalists

Breaking My Face: Some Thoughts on Joy by Robbie Taggart

Confessions of an Interfaith Junkie by Peter Vousden

Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibition by Jennifer Quist

First: Mezuzah on my Doorpost by Heather Thomson

Second: Birth of Discernment by Julia Hathaway

Third: Out of the Ashes by Alexandra Cannon

Honorable Mention: Coming Forth of Hidden Things by Patrick Moran

Honorable Mention: Shoulders by Bethany Sorensen

Contest-Specific Guidelines

Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest Rules

We ask those who wish to enter our essay contest to first read “Writing a Personal Essay for the Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest.” This information not only explains the basic concept and structure of the personal essay but will also help contributors understand the religious element that should be present in essays written for BYU Studies Quarterly.

Please do not submit essays that teach doctrinal matters without the context of a personal narrative. We are not looking for sacrament meeting talks or doctrinal expositions.

You may also find it valuable to read some personal essays previously published in BYU Studies Quarterly. The following essays should illustrate both the general structure of a personal essay and the diversity this literary form permits:

An individual may submit up to three entries. Each entry must not exceed 3,000 words (roughly 10 double-spaced pages).

Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest Rules

Poets may submit up to three poems for consideration. For publication formatting reasons, poems should not exceed thirty-five lines, not including the title but including lines between stanzas.

A wide variety of subject matter is encouraged. Religious themes are welcome, but not required.

An individual may submit up to three entries.

Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest Rules

We ask those who wish to enter our essay contest to first read “Writing a Personal Essay for the Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest.” This information not only explains the basic concept and structure of the personal essay but will also help contributors understand the religious element that should be present in essays written for BYU Studies Quarterly. Do not, however, submit essays that teach doctrinal matters without the context of a personal narrative. We are not looking for sacrament meeting talks or doctrinal expositions.

You may also find it valuable to read some personal essays previously published in BYU Studies Quarterly. The following essays should illustrate both the general structure of a personal essay and the diversity this literary form permits:

An individual may submit up to three entries. Each entry must not exceed 3,000 words (roughly 10 double-spaced pages).

Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest Rules

Poets may submit up to three poems for consideration. For publication formatting reasons, poems should not exceed thirty-five lines, not including the title but including lines between stanzas.

A wide variety of subject matter is encouraged. Religious themes are welcome, but not required.

If you have any questions

Please call the BYU Studies staff at (801) 422-6691 or send us an email: submissions@byu.edu.

Contests are currently open.

We will accepting contest entries until midnight on January 31.

BYU Studies Contest Winners 2022

Poetry Contest

First (tie): What Her Missionary Son’s Letter Didn’t Say by Darlene Young

First (tie): Moon to Moon Nights by Dixie Partridge

Third (tie): Everything You Make With Your Hands by John Alba Cutler

Third (tie): In the Garden by John Alba Cutler

Honorable Mention: March Morning, New York City by David Passey

Honorable Mention: Cradled by Kevin Klein

Honorable Mention: New Deacon by Kevin Klein

Winners

First: The River Conception’s Mouth by David Thacker

Second: Salad Days by Alixa Brobbey

Third: After Anger by Daniel Teichert

Finalists

Boxwoods by Andrew Maxfield

From Cotton McGintey’s Rain Sermon by Warren Hatch

Holy Places by Merrijane Rice

Irresistible Burdens by Marilyn Bushman-Carlton

The Last Leaf by Ben de Hoyos

Migration by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

One Week Before Kindergarten by Alison Moulton

Essay Contest

Winners

First: Fired from Carpool by Cristie Cowles Charles

Second: On the Necessity of Loss by Shamae Budd

Third: This Holy Mess by Sharlee Mullins Glenn.

Finalists

Breaking My Face: Some Thoughts on Joy by Robbie Taggart

Confessions of an Interfaith Junkie by Peter Vousden

Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibition by Jennifer Quist

First: Mezuzah on my Doorpost by Heather Thomson

Second: Birth of Discernment by Julia Hathaway

Third: Out of the Ashes by Alexandra Cannon

Honorable Mention: Coming Forth of Hidden Things by Patrick Moran

Honorable Mention: Shoulders by Bethany Sorensen