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Writing Competition

Tell Us Your Story!

Enter the Mayborn Writing Competition for a chance to win prizes and money and be published.

Conference attendees will once again have the opportunity to submit their best writing samples to the 9th 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 June 8!

As part of the 2013 Mayborn Writing Competition, separate workshops will be held prior to the conference for the top 50 article and essay submissions and the top 20 manuscript submissions. Entrants pay an additional fee above the registration fee. You may select to enter more than once in any category, and enter in more than one category. 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. Below are the three categories to enter. 

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 and 3rd Place winners are recognized



The ten best narratives will be published in Ten Spurs, a literary nonfiction journal published by the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism. The 2013 winners’ pieces will be in the 2014 Ten Spurs and will be published just prior to the 2014 Mayborn Conference. See author bios for the 2012 Ten Spurs Literary Journal.

The ten narratives 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 2013 book manuscript winner and the 2013 writers selected for publication in Ten Spurs will participate in book signings at the 2014 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 from June 1 to July 21, 2013 is not eligible to participate.


For any questions, please contact Tasha Tsiaperas:


Tasha Tsiaperas
Writing Contest Coordinator

Mayborn National History Writing Contest

If you are a high school student or community college student, or know someone who is, please check it out at: the Mayborn National History Writing Contest.

Past Manuscript Winners’ Books:


Holy Ghost Girl Finish Forty and Home Birthing a Better Way
See Sam Run William and Rosalie


Past conference winners: