Beginning in 2022, 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 for the next two years but may enter the other category.


All entries must be received by email or postmarked on or before January 31, 2022.


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.


Prizes will be awarded as follows for both the poetry and essay contests in the following amounts:

Poetry Contest

First Place: $200

Second Place: $150

Third Place: $100

Honorable Mention: $50

Essay Contest

First Place: $300

Second Place: $200

Third Place: $100

Honorable Mention: $50

Cover Letter

Entries should be accompanied by a cover page that includes:

Submissions without the requested cover page and information will be rejected unread.

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.


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.

Contest-Specific Guidelines

Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest Rules

Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest Rules

We ask those who wish to enter our essay contest to first read “Writing a Personal Essay for BYU Studies.” 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).

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: