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Typewriter Hammers (photo by Enzo Abramo - CC0 Public Domain)
Typewriter Hammers (photo by Enzo Abramo - CC0 Public Domain)

What is the William Styron Creative Writing Award?

The Styron Creative Writing Prize is awarded each spring in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing. All Duke juniors and seniors are eligible to submit work for consideration. Projects may be any genre and take any form (audio/video, digital media, etc.), but must include a substantial creative writing component.

The William Styron Award was established in 2022 in honor of Duke graduate William Styron, the novelist and essayist of great renown.

Prize: $1500

Is my paper eligible?

  • You must be a Duke junior or senior (or just finished that year). Duke first year or sophomore students may apply for the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award.
  • You may submit multiple, different projects in a given year but each project should be submitted individually with an accompanying application cover sheet
  • Submitted projects must have been written during the current academic year
  • At this time submissions must be written in English
  • No minimum or maximum length required

How do I apply?

To be eligible for the William Styron Creative Writing Award, email the following to Arianne Hartsell-Gundy by June 15, 2024:

How is a winner chosen?

  • The selection committee, consisting of two Libraries staff members and two faculty members, judges the papers
  • Projects are judged based on quality and originality of writing
  • The committee reserves the right to split the award among more than one author, or to award no prize

For more information

Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Librarian for Literature (, for more information.

Previous winners

Before posting a document on the library website, content creators for winning entries should follow Duke University's Web Accessibility Content Creation Guidelines when preparing the version of their document to be shared publicly.

  • 2023 — Ruby Wang for 2001: An Ode to Mother and Sophie Zhu for White Fox