The University of Houston has long been a haven for aspiring authors and passionate poets. In recent years, UH’s undergraduate literary community has expanded its presence locally and nationally. In an effort to fuel students’ creative output, the University created a new award that will recognize outstanding works of prose and poetry.
This year, UH will present the first Provost’s Prize for Creative Writing. The award will recognize two student writers during the academic year. During the fall semester, the Provost’s Prize will spotlight an undergraduate prose writer. A poet will be acknowledged in the spring semester. Award recipients earn a cash prize of $2,500 and will have their submissions published in the UH Magazine.
The Provost’s Prize is open to all undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Houston. Students may submit one entry to the Creative Writing Program office (229 Roy Cullen). Deadlines for the Provost’s Prize are as follows:
- Sept. 15 – Prose
- Feb. 15 – Poetry
For complete details on application requirements, visit the Provost’s Prize website.
“I am honored to establish the Provost’s Prize for Creative Writing at the University,” said Paula Myrick Short, UH provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are the ‘House that Innovation Built,' and innovation demonstrates itself in many unique ways. My hope is this award will inspire students to capture their own innovative creativity, and share their imaginations with us.”
The Provost’s Prize complements the growth of UH’s undergraduate creative writing initiatives. In 2006, UH students created the national journal Glass Mountain, which provides an outlet for undergraduate literary voices. The journal’s staff – guided for years by English professor Lynn Voskuil – has extended the reach of Glass Mountain through public readings, the fall Write-a-Thon (a day of writing activities and camaraderie) and the annual Boldface Conference (a week of workshops and readings led by professional writers from across the country).
Glass Mountain’s new adviser Audrey Colombe is eager to see submissions emerge from all areas of the University.
“What’s particularly special about the Provost’s Prize is that it’s open to any undergraduate student regardless of his or her major,” said Colombe, associate professor of English. “Speaking as someone who earned an undergraduate degree in the sciences, I believe that creativity inspired across disciplines is being recognized here.”
While the cash prize is certainly enticing to students, Colombe said that the opportunity to be published should be a major incentive for prospective Provost’s Prize applicants.
“When writers are published, they see their work in a new way,” she said. “I’ve heard from many writers that when they see their work in print, they see it through other people’s eyes. They also see the strengths of their writing.”