MCC Creative Writing Contest

MCC Creative Writing Contest logo 2017Every Fall Semester, the Muskegon Community College English and Communications Department and the Muskegon Writers’ Series sponsor the Muskegon Community College Creative Writing Contest.

There are three categories:  Essay, Fiction and Poetry.  A total of three entries per student is permitted and there are monetary prizes for the winners. This contest is open to students registered in at least one MCC Fall Semester credit class. Winners’ entries will be submitted to the state-wide L.A.N.D. Creative Writing Contest for a chance to win even more cash prizes.

MCC students must follow the eligibility, manuscript and submission guidelines outlined below or their entries will be disqualified from the contest.  The deadline for submissions is Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.


MCC 2018 Creative Writing Contest Manuscript Guidelines

  1. The contest is open to Muskegon Community College students registered in a credit class during the Fall 2018 semester.
Quantity Limit
  1. A total of three entries per student are permitted.
  1. Short fiction and essays must be fewer than 2,000 words in length.
  2. Poems must be 50 lines or fewer.
  3. No previously published work may be submitted.
  4. Work must be original. Any borrowed ideas or language must be appropriately acknowledged.
  5. Authors must be willing to have their work published under their own names. No anonymous or pseudonymous work will be accepted.
  1. Neither the author’s name nor Muskegon Community College should appear anywhere on any entry.
  2. Entries will be identified by the author’s student number or college identifier, which should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  3. All entries must be titled and paginated.
  4. 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.
  5. Poems do not need title pages but they do need titles.
  6. All entries must have one-inch margins and page numbers.
  7. 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.
  8. All entries must be submitted in MS Word, RTF or PDF 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
  1. Judges chosen by the MCC English Department faculty, who will determine first, second, and third place in each category.
  2. Prose will be judged on originality of content, purpose, audience awareness, organization, development, style, and mechanics.
  3. Fiction and poetry will be judged on imaginative insight, sensitivity to language, and control of formal elements (e.g. point of view, metrics, etc.)
  4. Contest guidelines are based on those used by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Prizes and Recognition
  1. A first prize of $100, a second prize of $75, and a third prize of $25 will be awarded for each category.
  2. Certificates of Achievement will be presented to prizewinners.
  3. All prize-winning stories, essays and poems will be submitted for consideration to the state-wide community college writing contest sponsored by the Liberal Arts Network for Development (L.A.N.D.) and published—if the submission places 1st, 2nd or 3rd—in pamphlet and electronic form by L.A.N.D. Copies will be distributed to all community colleges in Michigan.
  4. MCC winners are required to fill out the L.A.N.D. Writing Contest entry forms.
  5. The L.A.N.D. Writing Contest winners are awarded $150 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.

For more information on submitting your work, please contact Gretchen Cline, Contest Chair/Faculty at (231) 777-0353 or Kelli Loughrige, Contest Coordinator/Secretary at (231) 777-0371 or email

Please complete the submission form below and attach your entry before clicking on the submit button. Be sure to check that your submission was fully completed and that you did not receive an error message.

MCC Creative Writing Contest Fall 2018 Submission Form

  • Please be sure to enter your entire seven-digit student number
  • By clicking on the "Yes" button, I grant permission for my entries to be submitted for consideration to Muskegon Community College's art and literary publication, River Voices. For questions about River Voices or to get involved in the layout, design or editing of the publication, contact
  • Please select the category for which you are submitting your entry. You may only choose one.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf.
  • Please select the category for which you are submitting your entry. You may only choose one.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf.
  • Please select the category for which you are submitting your entry. You may only choose one.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf.