Original Writing Competition

Since 1958, the Utah Original Writing Competition has awarded Utah writers for works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in a variety of forms. The competition’s mission is to aid Utah writers on their path to publication and broader recognition. Submissions must be original works and, with some exceptions, cannot be published or accepted for publication at the time of entry. Manuscripts are reviewed in a blind process by judges selected from outside of Utah. There is no entry fee, and it is open to all Utah residents age 18 and over.

The 2018 awards event was held on November 3 at the Glendale Library in Salt Lake City. Congrats again to all the winners!
Here are the photos from the event. 

2018 Guidelines

For reference only, here are the 2018 guidelines.

Past Winners

Here is a list of past winners from 2000 to the present.


Category A: Novel, judged by Benjamin Reed
First Place: Lightheaded, by Shane Camoin (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: Thoughts and Prayers, by Sydney Husseman (Layton)
Honorable Mention: The Birds of Eurasia, by James Ure (Salt Lake City)

Category B: Creative Nonfiction Book, judged by Darlin’ Neal
First Place: Walking Through Walls, by Michelle Forstrom (Provo)
Second Place: Cold Desert, by David Pace (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: Terroir: Essays on Otherness, by Natasha Saje (Salt Lake City)

Category C: Book-length Collection of Poetry, judged by Sidney Wade
First Place: After Earth, by Michael Lavers (Provo)
Second Place: Easy Street, by Cindy King (St. George)
Honorable Mention: Lily or Bone, by Kim Welliver (Kearns)
Honorable Mention: Utah Reclamation Project, by Amy Brunvand (Salt Lake City)

Category D: Children’s Book, judged by Rachel Searles
First Place: B&T Detective Agency, by Lori Seppi (North Salt Lake)
Second Place: The Solitary, by Courtney Cope (Provo)
Honorable Mention: Mrs. Hecht Will Give You Heck, by Sabrina Vienneau (Salt Lake City)

Category E: Poetry, judged by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
First Place: “Thriving,” by Kim Welliver (Kearns)
Second Place: “Circadian,” by Danielle Dubrasky (Cedar City)
Honorable Mention: “Topography of Light,” by Pam Tucker (Washington)

Category F: Short Story, judged by Martin Cloutier
First Place: “Through a Glass but Darkly,” by Daniel Robertson (Provo)
Second Place: “Bombay Curry Kitchen,” by Ranjan Adiga (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: “Rescue Dog,” by Coleton Smith (Draper)

Category G: Creative Nonfiction Essay, judged by Joseph Rein
First Place: “War and Peace. And Music,” by Gerald Elias (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: “Leaven,” by Sunni Wilkinson (Ogden)
Honorable Mention: “Juliet,” by Danielle Dubrasky (Cedar City)

Here’s a list of the 2018 UOWC judges and their bios.

“The award for my book has been a constant support and reinforcement that has helped me continue to believe in my work and abilities when the weight of rejections were causing me to doubt.”

–Utah Original Writing Competition Winner


Alyssa Hickman Grove
Literary Arts, Communications, & Salesforce Support