Annual Writers' Café/Prosody Writing Contest

The Writers' Café and Prosody have offered an undergraduate writing contest in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction each spring term since 2004.

You can browse past winners of the contest.

Prizes: The chance to have your work featured on a special broadcast of Prosody, a weekly literary arts program on WESA FM, 90.5, and cash prizes ($200 for first place in each genre, $100 for second place in each genre).

This year, the Writers' Café Fiction prizes are in memory of Jed Waverly.

Eligibility: All currently enrolled Pitt undergraduates who have attended at least one Writers’ Café session in this academic year (Sept. 2016–March 2017). If you haven’t, there’s still time. The last session before the deadline is March 17, 2017.


Poets — 1-3 poems (no more than 3 pages per poem)

Prose Writers (fiction and nonfiction) — one submission per genre, up to 5,000 words. 

In all genres, names should not be included on your work; students may submit in more than one genre, but each submission should be accompanied by a separate entry form. Submitted work will not be returned. Duplicate submissions (work also submitted to other Pitt undergraduate contests) will not be accepted.

·      Download and complete an entry form

·      Each submission must include a title. Do Not put your name on your submission. Your name goes only on the entry form.

·      Submit your entry form and submission via email attachment in a Word file to Include “Prosody Contest” and the genre of your submission in the subject heading.

·      Winners will be notified by email; the names of the winners will be posted on the Café web page.

Deadline:  March 17, 2017 at 3 p.m.


Judges for the Fourteenth Annual Writers’

Café/ Prosody Prizes in

Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction



Judith Vollmer’s fifth full-length poetry collection, The Apollonia Poems, awarded the 2016 Four Lakes Poetry Prize of the University of Wisconsin Press is forthcoming in March 2017. Vollmer also has received the Brittingham, the Cleveland State, and the Center for Book Arts publication prizes; grants from the National Endowment and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; finalist honors for the Paterson Poetry Prize; a National Book Critics Circle nomination; and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of Pittsburgh.  Poems, reviews, and essays have appeared, or are about to, in The Women’s Review of Books, Poetry International, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Poet Lore, The Stillwater Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Insane Devotion: On the Writing of Gerald Stern, edited by Mihaela Moscaliuc, and The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire.  Vollmer teaches in the Drew University MFA Program in Poetry & Poetry in Translation, and is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.  She lives in Pittsburgh.



Suzanne Heagy’s first novel Love Lets Us Down (All Nations Press) was released in November 2015 and recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Her short stories have appeared most recently in The Anthology of Appalachian LiteratureSchuylkill Valley Journal, and in Your Impossible Voice, Pleiades, and Untamed Ink, among others. Suzanne has served as fiction editor of Kestrel, the art and literary journal at Fairmont State University, since 2008.



Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, LitHub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, and Guernica. She has published nonfiction in The Atlantic, the New Yorker, BookforumRolling Stone, Grantland, Vice, The GuardianVQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her column Body Language appears in Catapult. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is pursuing a PhD at Columbia University.