Bennington College’s 22nd annual Young Writers Awards competition is currently accepting submissions. The deadline is Sunday, Nov. 1, and the competition is free to enter.

Submit entries here:

About the Award
Students in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades during the current academic year may enter in one of the following categories:

  • Poetry (a group of three poems)
  • Fiction (a short story or one-act play)
  • Nonfiction (a personal or academic essay)

First-, second-, and third-place prizes up to $500 will be awarded for each genre. All entries must be original work reviewed, approved, and sponsored by a high school teacher. Sponsoring teachers will be used as a contact for the competition should we have any questions. Homeschooled students are asked to select a mentor to sponsor their writing. Judges include Bennington College faculty and students.

Young Writers Award finalists and winners are also eligible for undergraduate scholarships at Bennington. YWA finalists who apply, are admitted, and enroll at Bennington will receive a $10,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $40,000. YWA winners who apply, are admitted, and enroll at Bennington will receive a $15,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $60,000.

Our goal with this competition is to recognize outstanding writing achievement by high school students across the country. Over the years, this competition has attracted thousands of gifted high school students, and the overall quality of submitted work has been extremely impressive.

Bennington College’s Literary Legacy
Bennington College has a long tradition of excellence in creative and critical writing among both its faculty and student body. Bennington’s alumni include twelve Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poets laureate, four MacArthur Geniuses, countless New York Times bestsellers, and two of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

Expanding on Bennington’s literary legacy, Young Writers Awards participants are invited to join Bennington Unbound, a reduced-cost remote educational program offering four-week, college-credit bearing intensive courses in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, creative criticism, and literary studies.

The last Bennington Unbound session offered this fall is Recursive Fictions: Variations on a Theme (apply by Nov. 5 for classes beginning Nov. 19). Encourage your students to apply today.

Bennington Unbound is part of Bennington+, a suite of distance learning programs—courses that seek to engage with the most pressing issues of our time. All of these programs are defined by Bennington’s distinct student-directed, interdisciplinary, and experiential approach to learning.

You are invited to join Bennington College in promoting and celebrating excellence in writing by encouraging your students to participate in this years’ Young Writers Awards and remote course offerings.

Nancy Nitardy
Advance College Counselor
McCallum High School