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800 West Main Street

Room 2005 Roseman Hall
Whitewater, WI 53190 
Phone: (262) 472-3165 
Fax: (262) 472-5241 

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Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Address:   UW-Whitewater
                 800 W. Main St.
                 Whitewater, WI 53190

Location:  Check in at University Center

Register Online:      Click here to register

Cost:       Click here to view fees

2016 Save the Date Postcard: Click to download

Click here to view past results

Due to high volume of submissions, you may experience issues in submitting your work. Try again later. Submission will be accepted until October 26.  Any questions can be directed to cesevents@uww.edu and will be answered in the order recieved on Monday, October 24th.  Thank you.

We are happy to announce the High School Creative Writing Festival for the year 2016 and to invite teachers and writing students to attend and participate in the 32nd annual festival at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Each year approximately 700 students and teachers participate in the festival. We are pleased to be able to offer teachers and students this day of stimulating exposure to the writing of their peers and the chance to hear their work discussed and evaluated by professional writers in a college setting.

Entry Categories and Rules for Submission

NOTE: Changes to rules have changed for 2016

  • A participant may submit in only one category (poetry may have up to three titles per submission). See category chart below.
  • Participants will submit their work online using the Creative Writing Festival - Submission and Proof of Originality Form.  A link will be available in the confirmation receipt and email; once registration is completed.
  • All manuscripts must be double spaced and adhere to category page lengths.
  • Multimedia entries must provide a description, if the submission is not suitable for mailing.
  • Submissions must be received by October 26, 2016. Entries submitted after deadline will not be considered for review.
  • Each school is limited to 25 submissions. There is no limit to the number of students you may bring.
  • Participants should bring at least 20 copies of their manuscripts to take to the session where their work will be evaluated.
  • To ensure the continued quality of the Festival experience, we may have to limit the number of participants.
  • Submitting students must attend the session they are assigned to and listed in the program handed out at check-in.
  • Students should pick up their annotated manuscripts at the end of the workshop session time to which they were assigned.

 Festival Schedule

8:00 - 9:00 am Check-In, Hamilton Room (in the University Center)
9:00 - 9:50 am Convocation, Hamilton Center
10:00 - 10:50 am Workshops
11:00 - 11:50 am Workshops
12:00 - 12:50 pm Lunch
1:00 - 1:50 pm Workshops
2:00 - 2:50 pm Workshops
3:00 - 3:50 pm Workshops
4:00 - 4:50 pm Workshops
5:00 - 5:45 pm Awards Ceremony, Hamilton Room



Parking Information

If you are driving independently to the festival, visitor parking passes are available at the Visitor Center and parking is available behind it in Lot 7.  Permits are required to park in campus lots.  More information on parking can be found on the Visitor Center website.

A campus map can be found here.  University Center is labeled “UC” and can be located near B4 on the map.  

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Coval

Kevin is the author of Schtick, L-vis Lives: Racemusic Poems, Everyday People and the American Library Association "Book of the Year" Finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, and editor of the newly released anthology, The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. He is the founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, Artistic Director at Young Chicago Authors, and Teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. To learn more, visit www.kevincoval.com.

For the Students

  • Workshops are designed for students in grades 9-12
  • Students' work will be discussed in the sessions
  • Workshops are limited, and student writers will be assigned in advance to the workshop in which their work is critiqued
  • Non-submitting participants may attend any session of their choice
  • Each submission will be carefully read and considered
  • A professional writer will make written comments on the original manuscript
  • Because of the great number of entries in some categories such as poetry, our faculty cannot always discuss every work submitted
  • At check-in, participants will receive a copy of the schedule designating the workshop assigned and its location
  • Lunch for the participants will be on their own
  • Deadline: October 24, 2016


For the Teachers

UW-Whitewater staff members and visiting writers will coordinate special teachers' writing workshops to be held concurrently with the studnets' workshop. A session on the teaching of creative writing will be conducted and a workshop for teachers will be offered if there is sufficient interest. Teachers who want to submit thier own work for consideration in a Teachers Writing Workshop should submit their work by October 24, 2016. Lunch for the teachers will be included in the fee.


Prizes & Refunds

Prize money has amounted to approximately $700 in previous Creative Writing Festivals. It is anticipated that this year's Festival will award a comparable amount. Awarding of prizes will depend on the number and quality of submissions per genre. We regret that it will not be possible to give refunds to those students who are unable to attend.



$25.00     Students with Submission and attendance fee

$20.00     Student attendance fee (students not submitting a manuscript)

$35.00     Teacher with submission and attendance fee

$30.00     Teacher attendance fee (teachers not submitting a manuscript)

Students who do not wish to submit a manuscript for evaluation in a workshop are still welcome to attend the Festival. These students are encouraged to participate in discussions of the work being considered in the various workshops. Students may not submit a manuscript for evaluation if they do not attend the Festival. Please submit one check from the school or adviser to cover all students attending. A catered luncheon is included in the teacher's fee. Students will be "on their own" for lunch. Student luncheon options, both on and off campus, will be included in the packet received at check-in.


Entry Category & Limitations

  • Children's Literature - Maximum: 10 pages
    • Works written and appropriate for children ranging from toddler to roughly age 10. No topic restrictions other than appropriateness. Work may also include illustrations.
  • Drama or Screenplay - Maximum: 15 pages
    • A work (fiction or non-fiction) written in a fashion that can be performed; i.e., primarily comprising dialogue and some stage/screen direction and exposition.
  • Essay - Maximum: 5 Pages
    • Non-fiction, non-poetical short works. Genres generally include, but are not limited to: Personal Narrative (tells a story), Descriptive (paints a picture in words), Expository (factual explanation or definition of a specific topic), and Persuasive (attempts to persuade reader to a specific point of view).
  • Humor - Maximum: 10 pages
    • Can be in virtually any format (fiction, non-fiction, short drama, essay, etc.) as long as its primary aim is to provide humor and/or humorous entertainment.
  • Multimedia - No limitations
    • A creative work that employs more than one medium and/or genre, such as (but not limited to) a work combining painting and poetry, a poem on a sculpture, an audio presentation of a written work, and also stand-alone media like short films and performance art.
  • Poetry - Maximum: 3 poems
    • A piece of writing that employs some combination of lyrical, metrical, rhythmic, illusory, or imaginative power, frequently employing vivid or suggestive language/imagery or literary devices like similes and metaphors.
  • Prose Poem/Flash Fiction - Maximum: 3 pieces
    • A prose poem is a non-poetical piece that still embodies certain poetic qualities such as prominent rhythms, imagery, compactness, and intensity, though without necessarily rhyming or following a set metrical pattern. Flash fiction is an extremely brief (generally no more than a few hundred words) piece of prose fiction.
  • Fan Fiction/Science Fiction/Fantasy/- Maximum: 10 pages
    • SciFi (science fiction) is prose fiction based on imagined future technological and/or scientific advances, frequently employing significant social or environmental changes, space travel, time travel, and/or alien life forms. Fantasy, also prose fiction, employs magical or supernatural qualities of the characters, plot, setting, or theme. While fantasy can employ any time setting, it is frequently set in worlds resembling ancient or medieval Earth. Fan Fiction, a new but growing genre, is a work of fiction set in a pre-existing world created by another author. For example, popular fan fiction works use the characters from a TV/movie series like Star Trek or Harry Potter, but use those characters in new ways or takes them on new adventures that are imagined by the fan fiction author.
  • Short Fiction - Maximum: 10 pages
    • Prose writing that presents imaginary people and events.
  • Song Lyrics - Send taped music or CD & hard copy of lyrics
    • Words set to music, often resembling a poem that can be sung.
  • Tales of Terror & Mystery - Maximum: 10 pages
    • Like fantasy fiction, tales of terror often incorporate supernatural beings, events, and settings, but differs in that its primary intent is to induce horror or terror. Tales of terror need not employ supernatural elements, though in a non-supernatural setting, the genre still creates an aura of eeriness or fright. Tales of mystery can employ many of the same elements as tales of terror, but its impact is intrigue rather than terror, or it offers an outré tale, or it can simply be a piece of crime fiction like a murder mystery.


    Identification & Proof of Originality

    Each applicant submitting work will verify proof of originality through online registration system.

    Past Results