2020 Creative Writing Prize Winners

This year's creative writing awards were judged by the poet Carlos Andrés Gómez. Carlos Andrés Gómez is the author of two celebrated collections of poetry, Fractures and Hijito, and a memoir, Man Up. He is also a performer, appearing on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and TV One's Verses and Flow, and in the Spike Lee film Inside Man.

About the selection process, Gómez wrote: "I would be grateful if in the announcement you could mention that I found the quality of the writing to be astounding – there were many more pieces that are worthy of recognition, but these were the ones I ultimately chose. Deciding which submissions deserved to be selected as the winners and runners-up was a painstaking and, at times, excruciating task…. I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to read their stunning submissions. There are many writers whose work I encountered that I expect to see on my bookshelf someday."

Below is a list of the prizes and winners. If you wish to read a selection of the winning work, you may do so here.

For the Sidney Cox Memorial Prize, offered annually for that piece of undergraduate writing which most nearly meets those high standards of originality and integrity which Sidney Cox set for himself and for his students in his teaching and in his book, Indirections for Those Who Want to Write:

C.C. Lucas, for "Multiplayer"

The Academy of American Poets Prize, for the best poem or group of poems:

James King, for "Our Respective Squares"

Honorable Mention:

Kira Householder "Metacognition"

Mia Nelson "Frida Kahlo Takes a Rib from Diego Rivera"

Jacobson-Laing Award in Poetry for the best manuscript of original poems:

Karen Zheng, for Steeping

Honorable Mention:

Julia O'Sullivan, for "untitled"

The Mecklin Prize, for creative nonfiction or journalism:

Kaijing Janice Chen, for "laai geen"

Honorable Mention:

Maeve Fairbanks, for "Joe"

Shaphnah Mishal McKenzie, for "Countryside Calling"

The Grimes Prize, for any form of writing by a senior except plays:

Julia O'Sullivan, for a short story, "The Unmaking"

The Lockwood Prize, for any form of writing by a junior except plays:

C.C. Lucas, for "Multiplayer"

William C. Spengemann Award in Writing, for a work of prose or poetry distinguished by its formal precision, as well as its original, innovative, or iconoclastic approach to its subject matter:

Raena R. Roman, for a poem, "Pobres Gringos"

Erskine Caldwell Prize, for a short story:

Jordan McDonald, for "Discretion"

Honorable Mention:

Betty Junghyun Kim, for "The Princess Bride vs. Superman"