Writing Competition

Stay tuned for details about our 2018 contests

Tell Us Your Story!

Enter the Mayborn Writing Competition for a chance to win cash prizes and have your work published.

Conference attendees will once again have the opportunity to submit their best writing samples to the 13th annual Mayborn Writing Competition. Winners can win cash and prizes in three categories: personal essay, reported narrative and book manuscript. Don’t miss out! Details can be found below in each of the applications. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST May 15, 2017.

As part of the 2017 Mayborn Writing Competition, separate workshops will be held prior to the conference for the top reported narratives and personal essay submissions and the top manuscript submissions. Entrants pay an additional fee above the registration fee. You may enter more than one category. For example, you may submit to our book manuscript contest, our reported narrative contest and our personal essay contest. However, you can only be in one workshop and win one prize. Winners are recognized at the Literary Lights Dinner at the Mayborn Conference. Cash prizes are mailed to winners after the conference. Our three categories are:

Reported Narrative Application

  • 1st Place - $3000
  • 2nd Place - $2000
  • 3rd Place - $1000

Personal Essay Application

  • 1st Place - $3000
  • 2nd Place - $2000
  • 3rd Place - $1000

Book Manuscript Application

  • 1st Place $3000 and book published by UNT Press
  • 2nd Place $2000
  • 3rd Place $1000


The ten winning submissions will be published in Ten Spurs, a literary nonfiction journal published by the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism. The winners’ pieces will appear in Ten Spurs and will be published prior to the following year's Mayborn Conference. The ten winning submissions are comprised of the three winners of the reported narrative, the three winners of the personal essay and four runners-up selected from these two categories.

The winner of the book manuscript competition earns a cash prize, and an option to sign a provisional book contract with UNT Press.

The winning writers selected for publication in Ten Spurs will be invited to participate in book signings at the next year's Mayborn Conference.

NOTE: Any person who is employed full-time or part-time in any capacity with the Mayborn School of Journalism or Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism is not eligible to participate.

For any questions, please contact Jo Ann Livingston:

Jo Ann Livingston
Writing Contest Coordinator