The newly minted School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies at South Dakota State University and Oakwood, SDSU’s literary journal since 1975, have announced the formation of the Anita (Sarkees) Bahr Award for Student Creative Writing. This student creative writing competition is open to any undergraduate writer or artist currently enrolled at SDSU. The establishment of the Bahr Award will recognize excellent emerging writers among the undergraduate student body.
“The generosity of Anita Bahr has made it possible for us to help Oakwood evolve from a purely student literary magazine into something that authors and artists at any stage in their careers can be proud to be in,” said Steven Wingate, publisher and editor-in-chief of the journal and professor in the School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies. “But creating student opportunities—both creative and professional—are part of Oakwood’s ongoing mission. Funding the Bahr Prize is a way to make sure SDSU students stay involved, so as the magazine evolves, making it a perfect blend of collective goals.”
Bahr grew up in Clark County, South Dakota, and enjoyed working on the high school newspaper and yearbook, completing her high school journalism career as the yearbook editor. She came to SDSU in 1961 to pursue journalism but discovered her love of words and teaching and changed her major to English. After graduating in 1965, Bahr’s career focused on teaching English in junior and high schools. She remains a strong supporter of the School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies—especially Oakwood.
In honor of Bahr and her generous contributions, Oakwood will continue to provide an excellent opportunity for young SDSU writers to be involved in the literary arts.
“Anita Bahr has been one of our most loyal and generous supporters of the Oakwood literary magazine,” said Jason McEntee, director of the School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Without her generosity, we would not be able to produce a high-quality magazine—a magazine that has for decades provided both established and aspiring artists a place to showcase their work. Having an award in her honor allows us to recognize outstanding student creative work while it also allows us to recognize Anita’s longtime support of Oakwood.”
The award will come with cash prize for the top three selected entrants ($250 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third). All three winners will also be published in the 2023 issue of Oakwood, due out in April.
To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org between Dec. 1, 2022 and Jan. 20, 2023 with the subject line BAHR PRIZE. In the email, include the title of your work and genre (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, etc.) with a maximum 3,000 total words of prose or five poems.
Because this is a blind competition, the student’s name should not appear on the actual submission. All submissions will be read anonymously.
There is no cost to enter and every submission is eligible for publication in Oakwood.
For more information, visit https://www.sdstate.edu/anita-sarkees-bahr-award-student-creative-writing.
For questions contact Steven.Wingate@sdstate.edu. To learn more about Oakwood, visit https://sdsuoakwood.com.