Literary Arts

Literary Arts Prizes

Literary Arts is pleased to offer the following prizes. Entry for these prizes takes place annually in the spring semester.

Prize Descriptions

For the best poem (up to 10 pages) by an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in the University. Submit ONE poem only (no longer than five pages). 

  • Two awarded to Graduate Students 
  • Two awarded to Undergraduate Students 

For the best poem or poems (up to 20 pages) written in celebration of life by an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in the University. Submit one application only. 

One awarded to an undergraduate for a manuscript that excels in this form, in memory of Alex Barry, an undergraduate of singular imaginative energy and joyful and unconstrained humor, who brought much to the Literary Arts at Brown during a time of personal hardship, making clear in the process the meaning and purpose of literary writing, not only as personal expressive endeavor but as a gift to the community.

The Alexander Michael Finkelstein Barry '20 Prize for Humor is awarded each year to one undergraduate for a manuscript that excels in this forms, in memory of Alex Barry, an undergraduate of singular imaginative energy and joyful and unconstrained humor, who brought much to the Literary Arts at Brown during a time of personal hardship, making clear in the process the meaning and purpose of literary writing, not only as personal expressive endeavor but as a gift to the community.

  • One awarded to a Graduate Student
  • One awarded to an Undergraduate Student

There are two prizes for undergraduates, graduates, (and a third for staff from the Brown community, separately judged). Judges will be selected from the department's graduate alumni. Submissions in any media are welcome, provided they can be read as language art. Cross-disciplinary and digitally mediated work is particularly welcome, but any work of language art that engages compositionally with its media will be considered, regardless of genre or form. The extent of the work submitted should be commensurate with a short story, a substantial single poem, a short series of poems, etc. Submissions of carefully chosen extracts from more extensive work will also be welcome. Submit one application only.

  • Two awarded to Graduate Students
  • Two awarded to Undergraduate Students 

For the best story or stories (up to 20 pages). Open to all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in the University. Submit one application only.

For the best story or stories written for children 4 to 8 years old (up to 50 pages). Open to all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in the University.  Submit one application only (and may be a collaboration).

For a book-length manuscript of poetry or prose fiction by a currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate woman. Submit one application only.

This contest honors the memory of John Hawkes, the internationally-recognized author and dedicated professor of creative writing at Brown University, along with Robert Coover, TB Stowell University Professor and esteemed practitioner of innovative fiction. The contest is open to all students currently enrolled in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts. The submission must be a work of fiction (up to 50 pages). Submit one application only.

  • One awarded to a Graduate Student
  • One awarded to an Undergraduate Student 

For the best poem or poems (up to 10 pages) in honor of poet, translator and founder of Literary Arts, Edwin Honig. Submit one application only.

For literary work, any genre, that best exemplifies the spirit of innovation found in the writings and translations of Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop. Up to 15 pages. Open to all Brown students. Submit one application only.

Prize Winners