2020 International Literary Awards

The Center for Women Writers is excited to launch this year’s International Literary Awards! Guidelines for each category are on our Submittable page.

The winner in each genre—poetry, creative nonfiction & fiction—will receive $1,000. An honorable mention in each genre (judge’s discretion) will receive $150.

Rita Dove Poetry Award Paragraph
for 1 poem (please send 3 poems/submission)
Ely Shipley
photo of Ely Shipley; credit: Claire Ratinon

Ely Shipley is the author of Some Animal (Nightboat Books), winner of the Publishing Triangle’s Trans and Gender Variant Literature Award and finalist for a Lambda Literary Award; Boy with Flowers, winner of the Barrow Street Press book prize judged by Carl Phillips, the Thom Gunn Award, and finalist for a Lambda Literary Award; and On Beards: A Memoir of Passing, a letterpress chapbook from speCt! Books. He holds an MFA from Purdue University and a PhD from the University of Utah. He taught for many years in NYC and currently lives and teaches in Washington.

Photo credit: Claire Ratinon

Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award
for a work of creative nonfiction, including lyric essay, memoir, & literary journalism, up to 5000 words.
Alison Stine
photo of Alison Stine, credit: Elle Achten

Alison Stine is the author of five books including OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press), as well as the novels THE GROWER (2020) and TRASHLANDS (2021), both forthcoming from Mira/HarperCollins. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, Longreads, VQR, The Toast, YES! and many others. She has been awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the NEA, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. A Contributing Editor with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, she lives in rural Appalachia.

Reynolds Price Fiction Award
for a work of original fiction, up to 5000 words.
Dorothy Allison


  • Competitions are open to anyone writing in English, except current Salem Academy & College employees and students.
  • All submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • Author’s name and address must appear on a cover page only. If your name appears on your submission, it will be immediately disqualified. This is incredibly important in our CNF category: please carefully proofread your piece to ensure that your name does not appear in your submission.
  • Submit: a cover page with your name, address, telephone, email, genre, word count (for prose), and the title(s) of the work(s), and $15 contest fee.
  • You may enter the contest as often as you’d like, in as many categories as you’d like. Each submission requires the $15 contest fee, and should be submitted as a separate entry. In other words, do not send two or more entries in one envelope or as one document.
  • An “early bird” reduced entry fee of $10 for entries between 3-31 December 2019.
  • Submissions close 29 February 2020.
  • Winners announced: no later than 1 June 2020 on our webpage and Facebook page.

Submit via Snail Mail

For snail mail submissions, submit: a cover page, 3 (three) copies of your typed entry (poems, cnf, or fiction), check or money order made out to Salem College w/memo line: 2020 ILA. Send a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope), and a SASP (Self-Addressed Stamped Postcard), if you’d like notification of winners and confirmation of submission received.

Send to:
Center for Women Writers
c/o ILA 2020
601 S. Church St
Salem College
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Submit Online Using Submittable


For further information, email: cww@salem.edu

Past Award Winners

Check out Past Results.