Student Writing Awards

Deadline to submit work for a student writing award: April 1 via the submission form

The Department of Rhetoric and Writing offers several awards each year for student work produced in our classes. UA Little Rock students create some amazing pieces of writing, and these awards are meant to showcase that work and celebrate the writers who produce it.

How to submit your writing

  1. Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below to make sure you qualify for the awards competition, and that your file is properly formatted for upload. If you don’t follow the instructions in the FAQ, you may not be able to upload your work or have it considered for an award.
  2. Take a look at the different award categories listed toward the end of the FAQ, and decide which one best fits the award for which you want to compete. If you think your writing might fit two awards, that’s fine; you can select two categories on the form and compete in both.
  3. The submission form will be posted to this page. You must be logged in to your UA Little Rock email account. Fill out all the required information and upload your file. That’s it!

Please email Dr. Barb L’Eplattenier, the Awards Committee chair, if you have any problems uploading your work.

Submission form

Submit your work via the google form at

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline for submitting writing?|
The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2023 (extended from April 1).

Who is eligible for the awards?
Any UA Little Rock undergraduate or graduate student who has taken a Rhetoric and Writing course during the current academic year. The piece must have been written in a Rhetoric and Writing course taken between April 1 of the previous academic year and April 1 of the current academic year.

Which of my pieces of writing is eligible for the competition?
Any piece of writing produced as an assignment in a Rhetoric and Writing (RHET) class. The piece must have been written in a Rhetoric and Writing course taken between April 1 of the previous academic year and April 1 of the current academic year.

Can I submit writing I produced in a class a couple of years ago?
No. The writing must have been produced during the summer, fall, or spring semester of the current academic year. All summer courses are considered to be at the beginning of the current academic year, not the end. The only exception to this is for writing produced during the prior spring, but after the April 1 deadline for last year’s awards. You may submit that writing if you are still a student at the university during the current academic year.

Can I submit work that I co-wrote with others?
Yes. As long as all the authors produced the work in the same RHET class, it is eligible. Only one author should submit the work, and all coauthors should be listed on the submission form.

Should I put my name on the document I upload?
No. All personally identifiable information (name, course name, instructor’s name, etc.) must be removed or redacted from the uploaded document. Otherwise, the document may not be considered for an award. There are fields on the submission form to record this information.

Does the document I upload need a cover page?
Yes. Your uploaded document must include a cover page which briefly answers the following questions:

  1. What document(s) is/are included in this file?
  2. Who is the audience for the document(s)?
  3. What is the purpose of the document(s)?
  4. Is there any other context required to understand the document(s)?

Can I submit a print copy of my writing?
No. The writing must be submitted in digital form. If the submission is a print or other physical document, you should scan or take digital photos of it and submit those as a PDF with an explanation of the photos included. Make sure the file size does not exceed 10MB.

What if my writing only exists online?
If your submission exists only online, you should upload the cover page described in the FAQ answer “Does the document I upload need a cover page?” as your submission file. On the cover page, you should include a link (or links) to your online materials. Remember that online materials should also have personally identifiable information removed or redacted.

Can I upload multiple files?
Yes and No. If you have multiple documents that you would like judged as a single submission, they must be uploaded as a single file. If this is your situation, please merge all your documents into a single file and separate them with page breaks. However, if you want to submit multiple pieces of writing which you want to be judged separately, you should fill out the submission form multiple times and upload each piece of writing as a separate submission (even if the submissions are in the same category).

What file types are accepted?
.pdf, .docx, .doc, and .rtf.  All other file types will be rejected by the submission form.

How big can my upload file be?
10MB. The submission form will reject files larger than this.

What are the different award categories?
Awards are given in eight categories, each described below. Each award includes a certificate and cash prize. Unless an award description specifically asks for additional materials, you need only submit the project or document you want judged. If you are unsure about whether your writing fits a particular category, please contact the Awards Committee chair.

  • Creative Non-fiction Award: This award recognizes the best piece of creative non-fiction produced this year. A wide range of work–feature writing, memoir, oral history, autobiography, as well as others–are seen as appropriate.
  • Design Award: This award is for the project or document which makes the best use of design principles. This could involve creative application of visual principles, use of physical materials, or use of spatial arrangement. It might also include innovative uses of color or shape and pattern, or clever use of principles for organizing information. Creative visual or physical designs of narrative are also potential candidates (e.g. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar).
  • Editing Award: This award recognizes the best editing practices, as well as editorial genres such as style manuals. Entries need not have been completed in a editing specific class; for example, a work done for a creative non-fiction class might be a viable candidate for this award. Submissions specifically showing editorial changes should include original drafts as well as edited versions, and should explain strategies used for the editing process on the cover page.
  • First-year Writing Award: This award recognizes the best writing completed in any first-year writing course. These projects may include a range of interests and styles including but not limited to personal narratives, arguments, research papers, critiques, and multimodal projects. Note: first-year writers are not limited to this category. They may submit their work for any of the other awards as well, if they choose.
  • New Media and Technology Award: This award is for the piece of writing which make the best or most interesting use of new media and/or digital technologies. If the project is online, a link to the online materials can be submitted instead of a document. This award is for digital projects only. Projects which make use of physical design (paper or other physical media) should apply for the design award.
  • Persuasive Writing Award: This award is for the piece of writing which demonstrates the best use of classical or contemporary persuasion. Pieces may include analytical writing, legal writing, general persuasion and argumentation, or anything else that clearly demonstrates strong elements of persuasion. Winners will typically employ classical, Rogerian, or Toulmin models of persuasion. Sophisticated use of logos, ethos, and pathos is also typically evident in pieces in this category. Submissions are not limited to those developed in persuasive writing courses.
  • Research or Theoretical Writing Award: This award recognizes the best piece of research or theoretical writing. Projects should be identified for one category or the other on their cover pages. Projects competing in the research sub-category should typically illustrate significant evidence of methods of research and inquiry, demonstrate exceptional ability to locate, evaluate and synthesize a variety of sources, and show responsible use of sources, including citations and references. In the theoretical sub-category, submissions should show an understanding of and reference to existing theories, as well as the ability to extend those theories in systematic ways.
  • Technical and Workplace Writing Award: This award is for the best piece of workplace or technical writing. Manuals, software documentation, help systems, charts and other data visualizations, reports, and presentation slides are some of the potential candidates for this award.

Can I submit my writing to compete in more than one category?
Yes. The same piece of writing may be submitted for up to two different category awards.

Is there an overall winner chosen from the category winners?
Yes. One undergraduate and one graduate student will be selected from the winners of the category awards to represent the best writing produced by all of our students this year.

When will the winners be announced?
Winners are announced as soon as results have been tallied and documentation has been created. Winners are announced on the department’s Facebook page and via the departmental listserv.

What happens to my writing if I win?
You retain copyright on your writing, should you win. However, the Department may use it or your name/photo in publicity to help advertise the department and recruit students.