The Winona Prize in Creative Writing

The Winona Prize in Creative Writing

About the Winona Writing Prize

The WSU English Department is pleased to offer The Winona Prize in Creative Writing contest. The Winona Prize was established in memory of Rosemary Duran, class of 1944 and long-time Winona resident, by her sons: Denis Duran, class of 1970, and Dale Duran.

There will be three prizes for $1500 awarded:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction

The gift is intended to encourage WSU students in their writing and literary pursuits, while helping them financially to reach their educational goals.

The Durans grew up in a home where reading and the value of words were prized. Denis states, “Early in life you hear about the power of words, but the more I read, the more I grew to appreciate the beauty of words. There is nothing more enjoyable than a story well told.”   

Manuscripts will be screened by the creative writing faculty. The final judges in each genre will be visiting writers from our John S. Lucas Great River Reading Series or other acclaimed authors published in the appropriate genre.

Contestants must be undergraduate students enrolled full-time and in good standing at Winona State University (minimum of 12 credits per semester, fall and spring).

Students from all disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply; however, contestants must have completed a creative writing course at WSU. This includes Introduction to Creative Writing (English 222) or any upper-level creative writing course.

Students may submit no more than one entry in each genre; for poetry, “one entry” may include up to three poems.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

All entries must be submitted in 12-point font, double-spaced. The page limit is 25 pages.   


All entries must be submitted in 12-point font, single-spaced. For poetry, the prize is for a single poem. As noted above, poets may submit a manuscript of up to three poems, which will be considered one submission.

All Submissions

All submissions must be the writer’s own work and unpublished in any form.

Each entry must include the following items:

  1. A cover sheet with the student’s name, email, contact information, and the genre of submission.
  2. A one-paragraph biography that includes the qualifying creative writing class and professor of the class.
  3. A hard copy of the manuscript itself (not in digital form).
  4. Proof, by attaching a copy of your Degree Audit, of being currently enrolled in or having completed a Creative Writing course at Winona State University.
  • Submissions that do not meet the guidelines will be discarded.
  • All submissions are final.
  • Submissions are due to Minné 304 by Nov. 18.

Winners will be announced by February and will be published in Satori in April.