Submission Guidelines and Procedures of Awards Competition

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation is proud to host the annual Hurston/Wright Awards for College Writers, which is the only award of its kind that recognizes Black college writers. The award is the foundation’s first program. It was initiated to support emerging Black artists in fiction and poetry enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate school program anywhere in the United States.   

Submissions for the award open October 1, 2017 and close January 31, 2018. Submissions will be judged by distinguished published authors in fiction and poetry. Writers will be notified in March whether their submissions were accepted or not accepted. Awards, which include a cash prize, will be announced in May. Award winners will be invited to attend the Legacy Award ceremony that is hosted in October in Washington, DC.


*Black writers who are full-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs (including low-residency MFA programs) at a college or university in the United States are eligible to submit a work of fiction or poetry. They must be enrolled at the time of submission. Students in online-only courses are not eligible.

*Writers who have published books, including poetry chapbooks or fiction narratives, through any publishing platform, are not eligible. 

*All work submitted must be original and unpublished at the time of submission. Hurston/Wright does not accept simultaneous submissions.

*Author name and contact information should not appear on the submission.

*Winning works may be published in whole or in part by Hurston/Wright online or print. Your submission gives the Hurston/Wright Foundation permission to publish an excerpt or the entire work. The author retains all rights.

*Hurston/Wright maintains the right to decline any submission not deemed eligible.

Format Guidelines

The original creative work submitted should be formatted as follows:


*No more than 20 pages of fiction, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font, and within 1-inch margins.

* Put title of the work on each page of the submission.

*Do not put the author’s name on the pages of the work. Provide a separate page with the title of the work, name and contact information of author, school and year of study.


*Maximum of 3 poems.

*The submission must total at least 120 lines or more.

*Do not include the author’s name on the pages of poetry. Provide a separate page with the title of the work, name and contact information of author, school and year of study.


Questions may be sent to info@hurstonwright.org or mailed to our foundation headquarters at:

Hurston/Wright Awards to College Writers

840 First Street, NE, Third Floor

Washington, DC 20002


Ends on June 1, 2018$30.00

Hurston/Wright Writers' Week

August 4th -10th -- is open to published and unpublished Black writers.

Fiction instructor: Mitchell S. Jackson

Nonfiction instructor: Pamela Newkirk

Poetry instructor: Tiphanie Yanique

The week will include critiques, craft talks, panel discussions and public readings.

Classes will be held on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.


Submission Format: 

For fiction and nonfiction, 20 pages maximum, using Times New Roman, 12-point type, double-spaced with 1-inch margins.

For poetry, 3 poems.

Provide a title page with the author’s name and contact information. Number the pages.

Include a cover letter with information about your writing life and citations of any published work.

Deadline: June 1st.

Apply early. Hurston/Wright uses rolling admissions for a maximum of 10 slots per class. All applicants will be notified by June 15th.

Application fee: $30

Apply to one workshop only.

Previous attendees are eligible to apply.

Tuition: $700.00.

 A nonrefundable deposit of $150 is due within 2 weeks of notification of acceptance into the workshop. The remaining $550 balance is due by July 20th.

Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel after paying the full tuition, $350 will be returned to you if you notify the foundation at least 1 week before the program starts. After that date, the full tuition is forfeited. In addition, Hurston/Wright reserves the right to close the submission period or cancel a session based on the number of applications. Applicants will be notified immediately and any payments will be returned.

Classes start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. most days; a detailed schedule will be provided upon acceptance. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Housing will not be provided, but the foundation has made arrangements for a discount rate at a local hotel.