Included in this collection are the winning entries from IIT's annual Undergraduate Writing Contest.

All IIT full-time undergraduate students enrolled for at least 12 credit-hours in the current semester are eligible to enter the contest, which is sponsored annually by IIT's Lewis Department of Humanities. First, second, and third prizes* are awarded in four categories:

1) Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Fiction

2) Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Nonfiction

3) Freshman Essay Prize

4) Mollie Cohen Prize for Poetry

* Prizes are currently awarded as gift cards.

Contest Rules

Entries may include fiction, poetry, plays, nonfiction (such as essays, reviews, and technical or scientific papers), and essays by freshman. Nonfiction (including essays by freshman) should be readable by an educated person with no special training in the subject of the essay.

All entries must include an entry form as a cover sheet attached to each entry.

All entries must be submitted in duplicate. One should be keyboarded, double-spaced, on 8.5 x 11 paper. Do not put your name on the paper copy itself or any of its pages. Deliver paper submissions to Susan Mallgrave at the Lewis Department of Humanities, 218 Siegel Hall. The second copy should be submitted as an MS Word .DOC or .DOCX file to The file name should be Lastname.Nonfiction.doc, Lastname.Poetry.doc, Lastname.Fiction.doc, or Lastname.Freshman.doc, depending on the category it is to be entered into.

You may enter several categories, and you may submit more than one entry in a category. Limit of one prize per category to any one student. You are encouraged to submit work that has been the subject of a class assignment, but be sure to send a clean copy, free of any comments, marks, or grades.

Entries are not returned.

All submitted short stories and plays will be considered for the Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Fiction.

All submitted poems or groups of poems will be considered for the Mollie Cohen Poetry Prize, which seeks to honor the effort to master the art of poetry rather than the exhibition of emotions. You may submit all the poems you wish; however, multiple poems by the same student will be judged as a single entry.

All submitted nonfiction will be considered for the Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Nonfiction.

All submitted freshman essays will be considered for the Freshman Essay Prize. Freshman is defined as any student who is in their first year of full-time college enrollment.

Recent Submissions

  • Revolutionary Persuasion 

    Purdy, Michael (IIT Humanities Department, Undergraduate Writing Contest, 2011-12)
    At a pivotal time in early American history, one man was able to influence the hearts and minds of an entire burgeoning nation by way of pen and parchment. His name was Thomas Paine, and his revolutionary pamphlet was ...
  • Eleven Words That Sound Like "Orange" 

    Monica, Samelson (2012-04)

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