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The Paul Witherington Prose Contest

The Paul Witherington Prose Contest

The Paul Witherington Creative Writing Contest is open to all high school (9th-12th) and middle school (6th-8th) students in South Dakota. See our 2020 call for submissions here.

The contest is for short fiction or non-fiction on any subject and must be no longer than 500 words for middle school participants and 750 words for high school participants. 

The winning submissions will be published in Oakwood and will be invited to read their work at South Dakota State University.

The Paul Witherington Creative Writing Contest was created by students in 1993 to honor Professor Emeritus Paul Witherington when he retired from the English Department. Dr. Witherington, a Fulbright lectureship recipient, is a prolific writer with more than 40 published short stories which have appeared in many literary magazines, including the Mississippi Review, Kansas Quarterly, Epoch, Chicago Review, Cimarron Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, New England Review, and Sonora Review. The great success and longevity of the contest is a testament to the many students and teachers who have participated through the years as well as the support of the SDSU English and Interdisciplinary Studies Department, the SDSU Foundation, SDSU Alumni, and generous donations from participating business sponsors. Funding for this year's contest have been provided by Wells Fargo and Paul and Gay Witherington.

Rules for Submitting

  1. A student may not submit more than three entries for the contest.
  2. Must include a cover sheet with the following information:
  • Name of the contest
  • Title of work(s)
  • Student's name, grade and home address
  • School's name and address
  • Teacher's first and last name
  • Teacher's statement declaring that the student's work is the student's own.
  1. Please note: The author's name should not appear on the actual submission.

Writers must keep a copy of their work, as submissions will not be returned.  

For more information, contact Dr. Christine Stewart at the SDSU English and Interdisciplinary Studies Department.