Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

Department Contests

The Department of English annually sponsors three contests: Flash Fiction, for undergraduates and alumni/graduate students; the Ekphrasis Poetry Contest; and the ScreenWriting Contest. For more information, click on the tabs below.
Literary Nonfiction Contest

Congratulations to the 2018 winners of the first annual Literary Nonfiction Contest, sponsored by the OU English Department

Undergraduate Contest

1st place: Olivia Brown for "Hate"

2nd place: Paige Lalain for "Circuitry"

3rd place: James Braun for "Fuel"

Finalists

Sarah Bodnar, Bethany Kurschat, Amber Mazzie, Danielle Osborn, Kathleen Spencer, Miranda Tucker, Robin Young

Faculty, Staff and Alum Contest

1st place: Wendy Hedstrom for “The Anti-Grandmother”

2nd place: Brianne Turczynski for “Oscar Wilde and the Happy Prince”

3rd place: Kelly Plante for “Pamela”

Finalists

Jenifer DeBellis, Melissa St.Pierre, Brianne Turczynski

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. Your voices make OU a special place to study and teach creative writing.

Contest Information

We want to hear your true stories told in beautiful and innovative ways! Enter the Literary Nonfiction Contest with personal essays about events that have happened to you, or evocative writing about things that fascinate you: cultural commentary, current and historical events, scientific concepts, etc. Literary nonfiction is different from journalism and critical (academic) writing in that is takes an intentionally creative approach to telling stories.

Contest is open to all OU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Submit one essay of up to 8 double-spaced pages.

Writer’s name must not appear on the essay. Include with entry a separate page with writer’s name, email, and phone number, and the essay title. You must identify yourself as a student, graduate student, faculty, staff, or alum.

Entries must be submitted or postmarked by March 1

1). Submit entries in Prof. Susan McCarty’s mail box in the English department mail room on the fifth floor of O’Dowd
2). Mail entries to: Literary Nonfiction Contest, c/o Susan McCarty, English, 544 O’Dowd, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309
3). Email entry to OUliterarynonfiction@gmail.com

Winning entries will be announced on the OU Creative Writing homepage and Facebook page and winners will be invited to read their work, along with the winners of the Flash Fiction Contest, on March 28, 5-6:30 pm, in Gold Room B of the Oakland Center.

DEADLINE: March 1

1st Place: $200
2nd Place: $100
3rd Place: $50

Questions? Contact Susan McCarty at smccarty@oakland.edu. Send contest entries to
OUliterarynonfiction@gmail.com.

Flash Fiction
Contest

OU Flash Fiction Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Flash Fiction Contest:

 Undergraduate Contest

1st  place: James Braun, “Nose"

2nd place: Amber Mazzie, “Gin & Tonic, No Lime"

3rd place: Will Kassab, “Horace and Doris”

Faculty, Staff and Alum Contest

1st place: Shannon Waite, “What Hints Mean"

2nd place: Jenifer DeBellis, “Held Together by a Safety Pin: A Broken Story”

3rd place: Christina Moore, “Going to College"

REQUIREMENTS:

The Flash Fiction Contest celebrates very short fiction: flash fiction, micro fiction, short-shorts. Stories must be 250-1000 words in length. There are two separate contests, the Undergraduate Contest, open to all OU students who have been enrolled within a year of the contest’s date. The Open Contest is open to everyone who is not an undergrad, including alumni, faculty, graduate students, and staff members.

Entrants may submit as many as three stories. All entries must be typed and double-spaced. The author's name may not appear anywhere on the entries; a separate cover page should contain name, email address, phone number, and the titles of all the stories; a single page may be used to list the titles of multiple entries. Please identify yourself as a student, graduate student, faculty, staff member, or alum, and indicate which contest you’re submitting to.

Deadline: March 1

Entries submission options:

1). Email to OUFlashFiction@gmail.com  (please include "Flash Fiction Contest – Grad/Alum" or "Flash Fiction Contest - Undergrad" in the subject).

2). Place entry in Jeff Chapman's mailbox in the English Dept. mail room on the fifth floor of O’Dowd Hall

3). Mail to Flash Fiction Contest c/o Jeff Chapman, English Dept., 544 O’Dowd Hall, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309.

The grand prize award for the Undergraduate Contest is $200, 2nd place is $100, and 3rd place is $50. Three additional prizes of $50 each will be awarded to faculty, staff members, graduate students, and alumni winners of the Open Contest.

Note: only the authors of winning entries will be contacted. Winners are announced via The English Channel email list as well as on Facebook and the English Department website. If you want to add your name to The English Channel email list, please contact Rita Perris, perris@oakland.edu.

Winning stories will be published on the English Department Website and a reading of the winning stories will take place in March. 

Past Winners:

Ekphrasis Poetry
Contest
OU Ekphrasis Poetry Contest

Congratulations to this year's Ekphrasis Poetry Contest winners.

1st place: "My Brother's Scraped-up Grin" by Jenna Russell 

2nd place: "Golden Goddess" by Jack Slayton
3rd place: "Thunderclouds Will Ruin a Lovely Dress" by Sarah Bodnar
Alum, faculty, staff winners:
"How a Man with Synesthesia Perceives Music" by Allison Bohn 
"Red Shoe Remix" by Donald Levin
"The Age of Maturity" by John Freeman
The Ekphrasis Poetry Contest challenges writers to create an evocative poetic description of an art object. The object may be original or a reproduction and may include painting, sculpture, carving, photography, or folk art. The contest is o pen to all OU students, faculty, alumni, and staff members.

REQUIREMENTS:

You may submit up to three ekphrastic poems. Please include an image of the artwork you are responding to, or at the very least identify the piece that is the basis for each poem.

All poems must be typed. The total length of all three poems, together, should not exceed 100 lines. Name must not be anywhere on the poems, or they won’t be considered. Entry must be accompanied by separate page containing writer’s name, email address and phone number, plus title of the story; a single page may be used to list the titles of multiple entries. Please identify yourself as a student, graduate student, faculty, staff member, or alum.

Deadline: March 15

The formal reading takes place during the Annual Poetry Slam, held on or around Tax Day (see English Department main page). Entries can be emailed to OUEkphrasis@gmail.com, placed in Alison Powell's mailbox in the English Dept. mailroom on the fifth floor of O’Dowd Hall, or mailed to: Ekphrasis Poetry Contest, c/o Alison Powell, English Dept., 544 O’Dowd Hall, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309.

The grand prize award for student entries is $200, 2nd place is $100, and 3rd place is $50. Three additional prizes of $50 each will be awarded to faculty, staff members, graduate students, or alumni.

Note: only the authors of winning entries will be contacted; winners announced via The English Channel email list as well as on Facebook and the English Department website. If you want to add your name to The English Channel email list, please contact Rita Perris, perris@oakland.edu. Winning poems will also be published on the English Department Website, and the poets will be invited to read at the Poetry Bash reading.

Past Winners:

OU Screenplay
Contest

OU Screenplay Contest Details


Award Title and Description:
The Oakland University Cinema Studies and Creative Writing Programs invite submissions for the Oakland University Screenplay Contest. Entries may focus on any film genre or category. Winning entries will be judged on originality, artistic innovation, and narrative cohesion.

The Screenplay Contest is for short films ranging in page length up to 15 pages maximum.

FORMAL REQUIREMENTS:

Screenplays may be full or partial. Clear, consistent screenplay formatting. Submit assignment sheet, if pertinent.


Deadline: April 2

1). Submit cover sheet identifying your name, OU major and/or minor, and the course
for which the screenplay was originally written (if applicable), and title
of screenplay.
2). Please keep your name off the screenplay itself but please have the title of the
screenplay in the header of each page.
3). On title page with your name, Include a brief summary of the screenplay and
indicate whether it is original or adapted from a pre-existing source.
4). You may enter a partial screenplay. If entry represents a partial screenplay, please
describe how the submitted scene(s) fit the complete narrative
5). Submit entries to the English Dept main office. 544 O’Dowd Hall or
Shaerf@oakland.edu

Winners will be announced on website and Facebook: Oakland English Dept; (only winners will be notified individually of contest results)