Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Awards in Writing


The 2019 Swarthout Awards Submission Deadline has been EXTENDED to March 15 at 4:00pm.

Please deliver entries to the Department of English Office in Ross Blakely Hall 170.

If you are unable to make it to the ASU Tempe Campus because you attend ASU at a different campus or are an out of area ASU online student you can submit your fiction or poetry in one of two ways:


Swarthout Awards 

Creative Writing Program
Arizona State University
PO Box 871401
Tempe AZ 85287-1401                                               



Send your submission to as a Word .docx or .pdf to Please be sure to put 2019 Swarthout Submission in the Subject line of your email.

ALL submissions must be received by the deadline in order to be processed.  


57th Annual Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Awards in Writing

The Swarthout Awards are one the University’s oldest and most celebrated traditions, recognizing the promising creative work of student writers. This will be the 57th year of the awards, made possible by the generosity of Swarthout Family.


1.            There will be eight awards given annually, known as the “Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Awards in Writing.” These will consist of first, second, third, and honorable mention prizes in poetry; and in fiction. In 2019, first prizes will be $2,000, second prizes $1,500, third prizes $1,000, and honorable mention awards $500. Winners must be present at the awards ceremony on April 11th. Otherwise, the prize money will be returned to the Swarthout Fund for next year’s prizes.

2.            Competition will be open to students not yet twenty-six (26) years of age by the entry date for the awards (Friday, March 15, 2019) and enrolled not less than half-time in any college of Arizona State University.

3.            Submission period: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 – Friday, March 15, 2019 at 4:00pm.

4.            Each student may submit one poetry manuscript of up to six (6) pages and/or one fiction manuscript up to thirty (30) pages, consisting of a short story or section of a novel.

5.            There will be no repeat winners of first prizes within the fiction or poetry category.

6.            A cover sheet with 1.Name, 2. ASU ID #, 3. ASU E-mail, 4. Major, 5. Genre and Title of Submission must accompany all submissions. Entries must be turned in at the Department of English office in Ross Blakley Hall 170.

7.            The student’s name must appear only on the cover sheet, and not on the title page or on the pages of the text. Turn in two copies of your poetry or your fiction manuscript. Each entry (poetry or fiction) must be accompanied by a cover sheet. Incomplete or incorrect entries will not be reviewed.

8.            DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION is Friday, March 15, 2019, 4:00 p.m. No extension to this deadline will be made. Please deliver entries to the Department of English Office in Ross Blakely Hall 170.

9.            The 57th annual GLENDON & KATHRYN SWARTHOUT Awards in Writing will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2019 in the Heritage Room at the ASU University Club. The event begins at 7:00pm. Winners must be present at the awards ceremony.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a reception with refreshments.

The event is free and open to the public.

Winners must be present at the award ceremony, held Thursday, April 11th in the Heritage Room at the ASU University Club at 7:00pm; otherwise, the prize money will be returned to the Swarthout Fund for next year’s prizes.

Contact: Justin Petropoulos, Creative Writing Program Manager
Email: | Phone: 480-727-9130

***The Swarthout Awards are open to undergraduate and graduate students in any college at ASU and at any level, but the applicant must be under the age of twenty-six (26) by the entry date for the awards. Awards will consist of a first, second, third and honorable mention prizes in poetry and fiction. In 2019, first prizes will be $2,000, second prizes $1,500, third prizes $1,000, and honorable mention awards $500. 



Glendon Swarthout is the author of 16 novels, many of which were bestsellers and were adapted to film, including The Shootist, a 1976 film starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall and the film The Homesman, starring and directed by Tommy Lee Jones. Glendon was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and won numerous other awards for his novels, culminating in the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement. Kathryn Swarthout has written a number of acclaimed young adult novels and was a free-form poetry columnist for Women’s Day Magazine for many years. Their son, Miles Swarthout, is a teacher, columnist, novelist, and award-winning screenwriter, notable for adapting The Shootist, among other films.

More information about the Swarthout family and their creative work can be found at


The Swarthout Awards in Writing, established in 1962 by celebrated authors Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout, is financially one of the top five creative writing prizes in America for students from undergraduate and graduate writing programs. With 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of the awards, this award series has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support emerging creative writers at Arizona State University. The contest is a wonderful opportunity for young writers to receive recognition and financial support for their work. Past winners of the Swarthout Awards have used this support as a springboard for their future careers, reflecting upon Glendon Swarthout’s own fortune in winning the Hopwood Award, the first award in his distinguished literary career. In 2013, the tradition continued when Swarthout Award winner Adam Johnson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Orphan Master's Son.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Swarthout family’s generous patronage, we encourage you to consider donating your own gift to help continue this wonderful tradition of literary support for young writers. From a one-time gift to an annual sponsorship, your financial support will enhance the giving spirit founded by the Swarthouts and will enable the Department of English at Arizona State University to continue to provide unique opportunities to celebrate our students’ creativity and drive.

       : Inbal Gilboa (1st place, fiction)
       : Miranda Williams (2nd place, fiction)
       : Sophia Jurgens (3rd place, fiction)
       : Anahi Herrera (Honorable Mention, fiction)
       : Erin Noehre (1st place, poetry)
       : Maritza Estranda (2nd place, poetry)
       : Sarah Simonson (3rd place, poetry)
       : Jennifer Eason (Honorable Mention, poetry)
       : Kali Canedo (1st place, fiction)
       : Warren Glynn (2nd place, fiction)
       : Megan Latin-De Bono (3rd place, fiction)
       : Luke Tasker (Honorable Mention, fiction)
       : Noah Tramell (1st place, poetry)
       : Chelsea Liston (2nd place, poetry)
       : Susan Nguyen (3rd place, poetry)
       : Connor Nielsen (Honorable Mention, poetry)
       : Megan Granata (1st place, fiction)
       : Rafaella Safarian (2nd place, fiction)
       : Warren Glynn (3rd place, fiction)
       : Kali Canedo (Honorable Mention, fiction)
       : Chelsea Liston (1st place, poetry)
       : Mary Lee (2nd place, poetry)
       : Susan Nguyen (3rd place, poetry)
       : Anna Flores (Honorable Mention, poetry)
       : Rayan Mohammed (1st place, fiction)
       : Jacqueline Balderrama (2nd place, fiction)
       : Gary Garrison (3rd place, fiction)
       : Kennedy Stearns (Honorable Mention, fiction)
       : Emily Price (1st place, poetry)
       : Alexandra Comeaux (2nd place, poetry)
       : Susan Nguyen (third Place, poetry)
       : Elijah Tubbs (Honorable Mention, poetry)
       : Elissa Hutson (1st place, fiction)
       : Lauren Mickey (2nd place, fiction)
       : Daniel Oberhaus (3rd place, fiction)
       : Maya Springhawk Robnett (Honorable Mention, fiction)
       : Noah Leben (1st place, poetry)
       : Sue Hyon Bae (2nd place, poetry)
       : Alexandra Comeaux (3rd place, poetry)
       : Melissa Acevedo (Honorable Mention, poetry)
       : Christina Arregoces (1st place, Fiction)
       : Dana Diehl (2nd place, Fiction)
       : June Yoon (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Elizabeth Hutson (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Brian Bender (1st place, Poetry)
       : Louis Vowell (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Shane Chergosky (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Skyler LaLone (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Elyse Mele (1st place, Poetry)
       : Louis Vowell (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Brian Bender (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Spencer Hanvik (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Allegra Hyde (1st place, Fiction)
       : Alexander McElroy (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Cassandra Powers (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Naomi Telushkin (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : K.J. Kern (1st place, Fiction)
       : Naira Kuzmich (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Shertok Lama (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Heath Wilcock (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Naira Kuzmich (1st place, Poetry)
       : Dexter L. Booth (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Anthony Cinquepalmi (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Haley Cummings (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : John-Michael Bloomquist (1st place, Poetry)
       : Jamie Bonnell (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Shane Lake (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Sara Sams (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Courtney Fowler (1st place, Fiction)
       : Winona Manrique (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Branden Boyer-White (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Jennifer Murphy (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Adrienne Celt (1st place, Fiction)
       : Arijit Sen (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Amy Ledin (3rd place, Fiction
       : Genevra Vanhoozer (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Rachel Malis (1st place, Poetry)
       : John-Michael Bloomquist (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Dexter Booth (3rd place, Poetry)
       : David Moakley (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Rosie Servis (1st place, Fiction)
       : Melissa Tse (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Andrew Marks (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Lucas Lindsey (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Michael Begay (1st place, Poetry)
       : Leah Soderberg (2nd place, Poetry)
       : David Ward (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Katherine Berta (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Kelsey Dimberg (1st place, Fiction)
       : Ding Ding Zheng (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Rose Swartz (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Liz Wimberly (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Rose Swartz (1st place, Poetry)
       : Catherine Bates (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Haley Larson (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Melissa Mickelson (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Melissa Mickelson (1st place, Fiction)
       : Aimee Baker (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Veronica Kosyakov (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Matthew Brennan (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Aimee Baker (1st place, Poetry)
       : Leah Soderberg (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Melissa Mickelson (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Samantha Evans (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Katie Cortese (1st place, Fiction)
       : Caitlin Horrocks (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Greta Baranowski (3rd place, Fiction)
       : John Young (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Sara Greco (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Venita Blackburn (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Meghan Brinson (1st place, Poetry)
       : Elizabeth Dreeland (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Iliana Rocha (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Diana Park (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Claire McQuerry (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Katie Cortese (Honorable Mention, Poetry)
       : Christopher Hanks (1st place, Fiction)
       : Ben Horowitz (2nd place, Fiction)
       : Katie Cortese (3rd place, Fiction)
       : Jeffrey Baker (Honorable Mention, Fiction)
       : Lindsey Gosma (1st place, Poetry)
       : Joseph Mains (2nd place, Poetry)
       : Katie Cortese (3rd place, Poetry)
       : Katie Cappello (Honorable Mention, Poetry)

Past Swarthout Award winners talk about the impact that the Swarthout Awards had on their lives:

"At the time, I was grateful for the Swarthout Award because, well--it helped to pay for rent and groceries. But I was most grateful because the award told me there was value in words, value in ideas, and value in what I was doing. That was a powerful message for a young person. It still is." -Robert E. Yen (1976, Poetry)

"Young writers are often told to not worry about publishing, prizes, or awards-- to only concern themselves with the quality of their work, but it's a difficult thing to do, to go into an artistic field blind, unsupported. Thank you to the Swarthout family, not only for the recognition but for the encouragement to continue doing what I love to do." -Naira Kuzmich (2012, Fiction and Poetry)

"Writing is a precarious balance between internal and external measure, and I'm still learning to trust my work whether or not it finds awards, but the Swarthout had a major impact on my life. It was the first external reward that validated my writing, that told me I was on the right path, that said, yes, this." -Danielle Roderick (2001 and 2002, Fiction)

"I know my involvement with the Swarthout Awards has had a positive impact on my life and has encouraged me to continue writing in the years since I graduated. In fact, I still do most of my writing on the laptop I purchased with the prize money. Again, my thanks to the Swarthout family for their truly remarkable contributions to young artists at ASU." -Christopher Hanks (2005, Fiction)

"I live in New York City where I am a freelancer and a published poet, novelist, screenwriter, and journalist, partly in thanks to a little pat on the back I got from the ASU English Department in the form of a Swarthout Award back in the late 1970's. I might have gotten 400 bucks in a check signed by Glendon, whose work I admired and learned from. While financially helpful, it was the endorsement that mattered, not the amount of the award. Newer and bigger awards, fellowships, and publications have replaced older ones on my curriculum vitae, but not the Swarthout Award. It will always stand as my first award as a dedicated young writer, and as a great push in the right direction." -Jack Stephens (1980, Poetry)

"Language is, Carole Maso says, a rose, opening. In that sense writers are gardeners, tilling the earth, raking the dirt with nails, watering the roots. Awards of this nature convince these gardeners that there are people out there who are equally concerned that this rose might not open, and encourage them to bloom one more flower, its fragrance reaching to the distant windows that have forgotten to witness the magic in the air." -Shertok Lama (2012, Fiction)

"I owe a great debt to the Swarthout Awards, which served as a launchpad to my current graduate work, and the opportunity to work on the novel I've nearly finished." -Andrew Marks (2009, Fiction)

"I have long appreciated the generosity that the Swarthouts have bestowed upon young writers, generosity from which I, too, have benefitted. I won second place in poetry in 1982. The money I received was very nice, but it was the recognition that mattered most to me then and now... After the death of my mother in early 2003, I began thinking of something I might do to honor her. For several years, I had noticed that there were awards here at the university for fiction and for nonfiction prose, but not for poetry. Thus, I was struck with the idea of emulating the Swarthouts, and I decided to donate my salary for teaching summer school in 2006 to create a poetry prize. At first awarding prize money to just one poem, the contest, which is now in its sixth year, recently awarded a first prize of $250, a second prize of $150, and a third prize of $100 to three students, and I hope in years to come I can donate enough to make all three prizes truly significant amounts of money. The contest is open to all undergraduates here at Cameron. I modeled the prize to a certain extent on the Swarthout Awards." -John G. Morris, Professor of English, Cameron University (1982, Poetry)