Tempe Writing Contest open to all ASU students, Tempe residents


Maureen Roen

November may be National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but for ASU students and Tempe residents who’d rather try their hand at shorter works, this is also the month to start preparing for a new spring writing challenge.

ASU’s College of Letters and Sciences and the writing programs in the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are partnering with Tempe Public Library to host the first-ever Tempe Community Writing Contest.

The writing contest, which invites submissions in the genres of poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, is open to all Tempe residents, Tempe Library cardholders and all ASU students.

Entries will be accepted between Jan. 15, 2015 and Feb. 15, 2015 at this online submission link, and individuals may submit one piece in each genre if they wish. Entries will be read anonymously within three judging categories: high school student, college student (undergraduate or graduate) and community adult. One winner from each entry category will be chosen for each genre.

“The contest was the idea of several of the Tempe Public Library staff,” explains Jill Brenner, adult services librarian. “We’ve recently been offering more programming for writers as a natural extension of library services. The response has been fantastic, so we wanted to take it one step further.

“We immediately thought of ASU as a partner, since several of our writing workshops are being presented by ASU faculty members,” says Brenner.

She began collaborating in August with Jeanne Hanrahan, faculty associate and liaison for ASU Academic Success Programs, and Duane Roen, College of Letters and Sciences interim dean, to organize the contest and enlist judges from the university’s creative writing community.

“I thank the many faculty and staff who have enthusiastically stepped up to support the contest, and hope faculty across ASU will encourage their students to submit their writing,” observes Roen, who enjoys leading Tempe Public Library workshops to inspire family-history writing. “The process of writing, like any of the arts, can be an outlet for expression and a lifelong journey that enriches our individual lives and our communities.”

The Tempe Community Writing Contest winners will be announced in the spring and celebrated at a reception at Tempe Public Library. Winning entries will also be published on the library’s website. Additional information and contest details and a PDF of the contest announcement can be found at the Tempe Public Library events webpage.