The Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing announces the addition of three new creative writing prizes, in addition to the six existing prizes. The deadline for entry for all nine prizes is Tuesday, April 4.

NEW – 2017 Mireyda Barraza Martinez Prizes for Social Justice

About the Prize:

The Mireyda Barraza Martinez Prizes for Social Justice will be awarded annually by the Creative Writing Program in memory of the poet and social justice advocate Mireyda “Mia” Barraza Martinez, a Fresno State graduate student who died in an auto accident in November 2016, one semester away from earning her Master of Fine Arts degree.

Two $100 awards will be given annually, one to a graduate student and one to an undergraduate. The recipients will be selected on the basis of an excellent piece of writing in any genre that addresses some aspect of social justice.

A Xicana and daughter of farmworkers who grew up in East Porterville, California, Barraza Martinez earned her B.A. in English from Fresno State in 2014. She served as a graduate artist in the Laureate Lab Visual Wordlist Studio, studying with Juan Felipe Herrera. She was an organizer with the Chicanx Writers and Artists Association, and she was politically active in the local community, particularly for the rights of undocumented students.

Submission Guidelines:

Submit three poems, and/or one short story, and/or one essay to:

Submissions accepted via email only. Submissions should be .doc or .pdf attachments only, NOT in the body of the email or in other formats. On a cover sheet, please include your name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Include your name on each poem or prose piece. Include “(Grad or Undergrad) Social Justice Prize” in your subject line.

Submissions in multiple genres are allowed. Send each submission separately. You MUST be a
currently enrolled student at Fresno State to win. Call 559.278.1569 if you have questions.

NEW – 2017 Soul Vang Prize for Poetry

About the Prize:

The Soul Vang Prize for Poetry will be awarded annually by the Creative Writing Program in honor of poet and educator Soul Choj Vang, who earned his Master of Fine Arts degree and a Secondary Teaching Credential from Fresno State in 1999.

One $100 award will be given annually to a student at any level. The recipient will be selected on the basis of an excellent piece of poetry that demonstrates significant interest in writing about the Hmong or Asian American cultural or historical experience.

Vang is the author of Song of the Cluster Bomblet, forthcoming from Blue Oak Press, and To Live Here, winner of the 2014 Imaginary Friend Press Poetry Prize and the first full-length collection of poetry published by a Hmong American. He is also co-editor of How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011).

Vang was born in Laos to Nouchue Vang (father) and Ying Yang Vang (mother), and came to the United States as a refugee child. He joined the United States Army and served in Giessen, Germany and El Paso, Texas. After the army, he returned to college at Fresno State.

An editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle (HAWC), Soul is passionate about fostering the next generation of Hmong American writers. His endowed scholarships and poetry prize are in honor of his parents, with the goal to nurture Hmong American writing.

Submission Guidelines:

Submit up to three poems to:

Submissions accepted via email only. Submissions should be .doc or .pdf attachments only, NOT in the body of the email or in other formats. On a cover sheet, please include your name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Include your name on each poem. Include “Vang Poetry Prize” in your subject line.

You MUST be an enrolled student at Fresno State for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year to win. Call 559.278.1569 if you have questions.

2017 Creative Writing Prizes

Graduate Level:

  • Ernesto Trejo Poetry Prize – $100 for the winning poem by a Fresno State graduate student.
  • Fresno Fiction Prize – $100 for the winning short story by a Fresno State graduate student.
  • Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize – $100 for the winning essay by a Fresno State graduate student.

Undergraduate Level:

  • Larry Levis Poetry Prize – $100 for the winning poem by a Fresno State undergraduate student.
  • Fresno Fiction Prize – $100 for the winning short story by a Fresno State undergraduate student.
  • Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize – $100 for the winning essay by a Fresno State undergraduate student.

Submission Guidelines:

Submit three poems, and/or one short story, and/or one essay to:

Submissions accepted via email only. Submissions should be .doc or .pdf attachments only, NOT in the body of the email or in other formats. On a cover sheet, please include your name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Include your name on each poem or prose piece. Include “(Grad or Undergrad) Prize in (Genre)” in your subject line.

Submissions in multiple genres are allowed. Send each submission separately. You MUST be
a currently enrolled student at Fresno State to win. Call 559.278.1569 if you have questions.