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2014 LAND Creative Writing Contest Rules

Submission deadline is November 21, 2014, 4 p.m.


  • The LAND Writing Contest is open to any student enrolled in a credit class at a public Michigan two-year college during 2014.  Faculty may make judicious suggestions to students for revision of entries.
  •  An official online submission form must be filled out completely.  This is an online form that allows you to attach your entry (.doc, docx, or .rtf, format).

Paper Specifications

  • Short fiction and essays must be fewer than 2,000 words in length; poems must be 50 lines or less.
  • Students may enter up to 3 entries in each category.
  • No previously published work may be submitted. Work must be original.
  • Work must be original. Any borrowed ideas or language must be appropriately acknowledged. 
  • Authors must be willing to have their work published under their own names. No anonymous or pseudonymous work will be accepted.

Paper Format

  • Neither the author's name nor the name of the author's college should appear anywhere on any entry.
  • Entries will be identified by the author's student number, which should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • All entries must be titled and paginated.
  • Fiction and Essay entries must have title pages that include the story or essay title and the author's student number, but not the author's name or the college name.
  • Poems do not need title pages but they do need titles.
  • All entries must have one-inch margins and page numbers.
  • Essays must be double-spaced. Stories must be double-spaced unless alternate formatting is an integral part of the story's aesthetic effect. Poems may be spaced and arranged according to the poet's intent.
  • All entries must be submitted in MS Word or RTF format. When format is an integral part of the work's aesthetic effect, a scanned image converted to a PDF document is acceptable.

Judging Criteria

  • Judges chosen by the LAND organization will determine first, second and third place in each category.
  • Prose will be judged on originality of content, purpose, audience awareness, organization, development, style, and mechanics.
  • Fiction and poetry will be judged on imaginative insight, sensitivity to language, and control of formal elements (e.g. point of view, metrics, etc.)
  • Contest guidelines are based on those used by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Prizes and Recognition

Local Competition

  • Each of the three categories in the local competition will be awarded a first prize of $75, a second prize of $45, and a Certificate of Recognition for Honorable Mention.  First and second place prize winners from each category will be sent to the state-wide competition.
  • Reception to be held for the winners and their families at Creative 360 in Midland, Michigan.
  • Prose will be judged on originality of content, purpose and audience as well as word choice, organization, development, style, and mechanics.  Fiction and poetry will be evaluated for imaginative insight, sensitivity to language, and control of formal elements (e.g. point of view, metrics, etc.).  Guidelines for judging are based on those used by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

State-Wide Competition

  • A first prize of $150, a second prize of $100 and a third prize of $50 will be awarded for each category.
  • All prize-winning stories, essays and poems will be published in pamphlet form by LAND. Copies will be distributed to all community colleges in Michigan.
  • All prize-winning stories, essays, and poems will also be published in an on-line journal.
  • Certificates of Merit will be presented to prize winners at the annual LAND Conference in February. Contest winners will be invited to attend the conference as guests of LAND, which will provide free conference registration and lunch on the day that Certificates are presented. Prize-winners who choose to stay at the conference site overnight will be responsible for the cost of their own lodging.
  • Finalists and their institutions will be announced in January


  • Entries become the property of LAND and will not be returned to authors.
  • Rights may revert to the author upon written request. 
  • If fewer than 10 entries are submitted to the competition and/or, in the opinion of the judges the above criteria are not met, LAND reserves the right not to determine any finalists or present all prizes in one or more categories.

Enter now using the electronic submission form


For more information, contact:

Nadine Davis, Local Contest Coordinator

Sue Deford, Local Contest Secretary

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