2018 International Literary Awards

Brought to you by the Salem College Center for Women Writers who encourage you to submit your finest works in this year's competition.

The winner in each genre will receive $1,000. An honorable mention in each genre (judge’s discretion) will receive $150.

Rita Dove Poetry Award
for 1 poem (please send 3 poems/submission)
Lynn Melnick
photo of Lynn Melnick

Lynn Melnick is the author of Landscape with Sex and Violence and If I Should Say I Have Hope. Her poetry has appeared in APR, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere. A 2017-2018 Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, she serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award
for a work of creative nonfiction, including lyric essay, memoir, & literary journalism, up to 5000 words
Seema Reza
photo of Seema Reza

Seema Reza is the author of When the World Breaks Open (Red Hen Press, 2016). Based outside of Washington DC, she coordinates and facilitates a unique hospital arts program that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a military population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. An alumnus of Goddard College and VONA, her work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Beltway Quarterly, The Feminist Wire, HerKind, Duende, The Offing and Entropy among others.

Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award
for a short story up to 5000 words
Crystal Wilkinson
photo of Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson is a poet and fiction writer whose debut novel, The Birds of Opulence, received the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature and the Judy Gaines Prize. Her other works include the short-story collections Blackberries, Blackberries—winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature—and Water Street, a finalist for both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Wilkinson serves as Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College and teaches in Spalding University’s low-residency creative writing program; she also co-owns, with her partner, artist Ronald Davis, The Wild Fig Books & Coffee, in North Lexington, Kentucky.


  • Competitions are open to anyone writing in English, except current Salem Academy & College employees and students.
  • All submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • Author’s name and address must appear on a cover page only. If your name appears on your submission, it will be immediately disqualified. This is incredibly important in our CNF category: please carefully proofread your piece to ensure that your name does not appear in your submission.
  • Submit: a cover page with your name, address, telephone, email, genre, word count (for prose), and the title(s) of the work(s), and $15 contest fee.
  • You may enter the contest as often as you’d like, in as many categories as you’d like. Each submission requires the $15 contest fee, and should be submitted as a separate entry. In other words, do not send two or more entries in one envelope or as one document. Additionally, if you’re interested in the “early bird” reduced entry fee of $10, then submit your entries prior to 31 December 2017.
  • Submissions close 15 February 2018 for snail mail & 1 March 2018 for Submittable submissions.
  • Winners announced: no later than 1 June 2018 on our webpage.

Submit via Snail Mail

For snail mail submissions, submit: a cover page, 3 (three) copies of your typed entry (poems, cnf, or fiction), check or money order made out to Salem College w/memo line: 2018 ILA. Send a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope), and a SASP (Self-Addressed Stamped Postcard), if you’d like notification of winners and confirmation of submission received.

Send to:
Center for Women Writers
c/o ILA 2018
601 S. Church St
Salem College
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Submit Online Using Submittable


For further information, email: cww@salem.edu

Past Award Winners

Check out Past Results.