Camps and Conferences

Creative Writing Festival

Submissions deadline has been extended to Monday, November 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm CST.

The 37th Annual UW-Whitewater High School Creative Writing Festival is back in person for 2021! 

Each year approximately 750 high school students (grades 9-12) and teachers participate in the festival, offering them a chance to hear their work discussed by their peers and writing professionals in a college setting. 

Please note: given the continued disruption and uncertainty caused by Covid-19, we reserve the right to alter the Festival format dependent on registration. However, all paid submissions *are* guaranteed written feedback and eligible for judging. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 9:00 - 3:00 pm CST

Event Protocols Due to COVID-19

Register Online

Click Here To Register!

Registrations accepted online until noon:

  • with submissions - 11/01/21
  • without submissions - 11/30/21

We do NOT accept walk up registrations at event check-in. 

Registration Questions

Advisors are encouraged to register for all participants attending from their school, instead of having each participant register singularly.  Please have the answers prior to registering:

  • Advisor email, name, address, phone, school, departure time, how did you hear about this event, accommodations/comments
  • Number of students attending with submission
  • Number of students attending only
  • Number of teachers attending with submission
  • Number of teachers attending only

Identification & Proof of Originality

Each applicant submitting work will verify proof of originality through online registration system.  The online registration link will be provided to you in your registration confirmation.

For the Students

  • Workshops are designed for students in grades 9-12.
  • Students' work will be discussed in assigned workshops.
  • 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.
  • Each submission will be carefully read and considered.
  • A professional writer will make written comments on the original manuscript.
  • The schedule designating the workshop assigned and meeting link will be available via the link in your registration confirmantion, one day prior to the event.
  • Deadline: Monday, November 1, 2021.

Note:  Because of the great number of entries in some categories such as poetry, our faculty cannot always discuss every work submitted.

For the Teachers

UW-Whitewater staff members and visiting writers will coordinate special teachers' writing workshops to be held concurrently with the students' workshop. Offerings are subject to interest and facilitator availability. Teachers who wish to submit their own work for consideration in a Teachers Writing Workshop should submit their work by submission deadline.

Credit Card

Your online registration and payment are always safe and secure.  We accept MasterCard and Visa credit card payments in our online registration system.  We will NOT accept credit card payments over the phone.  We will accept checks made out to "UW-Whitewater" and mailed to UW-Whitewater Camps and Conferences, 800 West Main Street, Room 2005 Roseman Hall, Whitewater WI 53190.

Confirmation Emails

Once you register, a confirmation email will be sent to your email account with details on how to submit and upload creative work. Contact if you do not receive this confirmation email. Historically, email accounts used from and are blocked from receiving notifications from us or may end up in your spam folder. You are able to register using these accounts; however, you will not receive emails from us. Please make sure you have a working email address on file with us to be able to receive important announcements and updates about this event.


  • A participant may submit in only one category (poetry may have up to three titles per submission). See below.  
  • Participants will submit  one file 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 include author's name, title of piece, be double spaced and adhere to file name requirements, and to category page lengths.
  • Submission must be saved as a pdf or mp3 file (not to exceed 25,000 KB) with category code, last name and first name as the file name.  Codes are found next to categories below.  Example:  P.Doe.Jane would be the file name for Jane's poetry submission.  
  • Files exceeding 25,000 KB must be posted on a website and link provided in a pdf for submission.  YouTube can be used.
  • Song Lyrics entries must submit a recording of the song with song lyrics. We suggest posting the recording on a website (YouTube or other) and provide a PDF of song lyrics for submission.
  • Drama/Screenplay entries must submit a video of the screenplay. It is suggested to post the recording on a website (Youtube or other)  and provide the screenplay in a pdf for submission.
  • Submissions must be received by Monday, November 1, 2021. Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered for review. 
  • Participants can bring hard copies of their submission for those auditing to read. Ten (10) copies is often sufficient.
  • Submitting students must attend the session they are assigned to.
  • All students will receive written feedback via email from the facilitators after their workshop sessions.
  • At times, a facilitator is unable to attend their assigned session, due to unforeseen circumstances or technical difficulties.  We will do everything possible to find a replacement and prevent needing to cancel a session.
  • UW-Whitewater is required to report any submissions that indicate neglect, abuse, violence towards others, or self-harm.

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.

Maximum: 10 pages; submit recording/videos

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.

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).

Maximum: 5 Pages

Non-fiction, non-poetical short works. Persuasive (attempts to persuade reader to a specific point of view.

Maximum: 5 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.

Maximum: 3 poems (one pdf file for all three)

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.

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.

 Maximum: 5 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.

Maximum: 5 pages

Prose writing that presents imaginary people and events.

Submit recording/videos

Words set to music, often resembling a poem that can be sung.  Submissions must include music.  Post music to website and provide link in song lyric submission.

Maximum: 5 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.

Maximum: Refer above for each category

All creative writing by teachers

Cost Information

$25.00     Students with Submission

$35.00     Teacher with submission 

$20.00     Students/Teachers without submissions

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.

Prize money has amounted to approximately $800 in previous Creative Writing Festivals.  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 who are unable to attend unless a participant needs to cancel because of COVID illness.  A full refund will be given due to COVID illness.  All cancellation requests must be submitted to

We reserve the right to cancel any event due to low enrollment; in this case, all fees paid will be refunded.

Sponsorships & Awards Redemption
For those participants who will be receiving a sponsorship to attend this event: Register and use the promo code your sponsor gave you. The sponsorship will be deducted from your invoice.  Any remaining balance remains the participant's responsibility. Any cancellations will result in the sponsorship funds being returned to the supporting organization.

Any qualifying discounts given by the event will not be applied after you have paid in full. Be sure to use the promo code during check out to receive your discount. You will be charged if you do not qualify for requested discount at the start of event.

A processing fee will be assessed if a refund is issued due to overpayment on your account.

Questions, received an award/scholarship without a promo code or want to use two promo codes? Please call Continuing Education Services at 262-472-3165 or email before registering to avoid overpayment fees.

Want to Sponsor a Registrant?
You can sponsor a registrant and cover all or partial fees. We have received requests in the past from schools, companies, organizations, friends and family members that would like to send their chosen registrant to a specific event. If you would like to sponsor a registrant, you can request a promo code that you may give to your chosen registrant. Click here for more details.

No discounts available for this event.

Additional Information

Check In

Check-in will take place in University Center.  Remember to practice social distancing while waiting in line.  Staff will ask registrants the three COVID-19 survey questions listed in the COVID-19 Information frequently asked questions.  Parents can wait in their car or return when participants session is over.  Parents are not allowed in the building.  Face coverings will be required upon entering, exiting the building, using the rest room, or waiting for classes to take place.  Due to the mask mandate all participants will need to participate with masks on. Staff will have the discretion to allow masks to be removed and special care will be taken to ensure participants get breaks when needed, and maintain the utmost safety during their practices. 

  • Face masks will be required while on campus
  • Lunch is not provided.  Please feel free to bring your own or plan to purchase your lunch.
  • Water Bottle (optional)
  • 10 copies of Submission (optional)

By registering for an event, you agree to our Registration Terms and Conditions. UW-Whitewater will hold all registrants responsible for their conduct.  Serious misconduct or disruption will lead to immediate dismissal from event.  Registrants dismissed from the event will not receive a refund.  Please review the Terms and Conditions for more details.

Be aware that we recommend that all portable electronic devices be left at home, but ultimately it is your decision. We know that parents and children value the ability to be able to call each other at a moment's notice.  For that reason, we do not prohibit cell phones at camp, but ask that cell phone use does not interfere with the event and other participants.  Parents are responsible for setting clear guidelines for cell use with their child.  We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.

We receive many questions from registrants. Click here to review our frequently asked questions about registering and attending an event.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

By registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. You will be required to agree at the time of registration that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and or videos relating to the promotion of future events.  You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.  Any media shared with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on social media or use of its hashtags grants the University use to media for any purpose.


Registrants are encouraged to have their own health insurance as accident insurance provided by the University is limited. Each registrant will be covered by a limited accident insurance policy. The insurance includes primary coverage up to $10,000. Insurance does not cover pre-existing injuries and is for accidents only. The cost of insurance is included in the registration fee.

8:00 am Check-In
9:00 am Welcome/Convocation
10:00 am Workshop Session One
11:00 am Workshop Session Two
12:00 pm Workshop Session Three
1:00 pm Workshop Session Four/Open Mic (only 1 session)
2:00 pm Awards Ceremony
~3:00 pm Event Concluded

Results will be posted one day after event.

Award Name Category  School Title
Winner    Helen Ru Han    Poetry Adlai Stevenson High School    Roadkill   
Award Name School Title
First Place    Isabel Chriiboga-Pineda    La Follette High School   QUI-QUIRI-QU...What?  
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Jasmin Erikson Waukesha West High School Please Leave a Message  
Third Place Anthony Mannion Badeger High School Training Wheels
Second Place David Henry McHenry Community High School - West Building Fronts
First Place Emmalyne Corbin Franklin High School NO One is too Classy for a Mini Fridge
Award Name School Title
Second Place Collin Campbell New Richmond High School The Ballad of Jussie Smollett
First Place Comille Staats Atude High School Guilt and the Human Experience
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Mariam El-Issawi West Leyden High School Battlefield  
Honorable Mention Christian Branter Waukesha West High School Checking Boxes
Third Place Cara Vonderwell Franklin High School The Rules of Coffee
Second Place Michelene Havard McHenry Community High School - West Walreds
First Place Cheryl Chen Adlai E. Stevenson High School Harvest Plums
Award Name School Title
First Place Austinn Donnan Badger High School The Official Association on the Topic of Squirrels
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Laya Reddy Adlai E. Stevenson High School Hands  
Third Place Brooke Byington Waukesha West High School Stages - the Mixtape
Second Place Lia LaSpisa Adlai E. Stevenson High School Jamie
First Place Helen Han Adlai E. Stevenson High School Roadkill; Last Night | Dreamt | Melted
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Amenah Syed Franklin High School Shattered Silence  
Third Place Katie Advani Adlai E. Stevenson High School Moon
Second Place Isabelle Dyg New Richmond High School Rotting Away
First Place Teresa Couey Hillsboro High School Putting Everthing in Order and Feeling Seen
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Tim Eterno Palatine High School A Squid Vs. The Capitalist Agenda  
Third Place Evelyn Soldner Sun Prairie High School Sorrows and Stones
Second Place Josalyn Service Palatine High School History Repeats Itself
First Place Caraline Anderson Palatine High School Lost for Words
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Stephanie Diaz East Leyden High School Road through Cancer  
Third Place Ava Swanson Franklin High School I Always Return Home
Second Place Eshaan Agarwal Adlai E. Stevenson High School Caged Beast
First Place Valentine Schneider La Follette High School The Start of All This Mayhem
Award Name School Title
Honorable Mention    Tayven Jonathan George New Richmond High School Aeroplane  
Third Place Claire Hall Mcfarland High School Void
Second Place Lucasu Alvarez Noble Street College Prep The Place | Grew Up
First Place SiennaRose Moses New Richmond High School Pop Rocks
Award Name School Title
Third Place Ruby Segel North Crawford Stoplight
Second Place Stephen Post-Priller New Richmond High School Freak
First Place LaTonya Lauher Prairie Phoenix Academy Untitled

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