Prose Contest

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2018 Open Mic Prose

FAQs for TCCC’s Second Annual Prose Contest

What kind of prose are you looking for?

“Prose” is defined as writing without meter, so it technically encompasses anything that isn’t poetry. However, the purposes of the contest, students should submit short fiction and narrative (personal) essays of 800 words or less.

Who can enter?

Any student enrolled in a TCCC class can enter.

Do I have to read my submissions at Open Mic Prose Night?

A commitment to read your work Open Mic Prose Night is not required to enter the contest, but we encourage everyone to participate!

How do I sign up to read at Open Mic Prose Night?

Visit the Writing Center in McSwain Annex 150 or email us at

What recognition is given to contest winners?

One grand prize winning work is selected and usually 2-4 honorable mentions.

How are submissions judged?

A judging panel of literary-minded faculty and staff is invited to read the submissions, which are stripped of identifying information prior to judging. Each judge assigns each work a rating, and the scores are then averaged to determine the highest ratings.

I hear that you publish a prose anthology of contest submissions. Will my work(s) appear in it?

Publication of submissions is not guaranteed.

How many works can I submit?


Do I need to tone down language, violence, mature themes, etc. in my work?

We seek thought-provoking work with intellectual depth and recognize that good writing often tests the boundaries of “acceptable” language. However, gratuitous or excessively explicit violent images, strong language, and sexual episodes that distract the reader from more important themes in the work should be avoided.

How do I submit my work?

Email it to the Writing Center at

What is the deadline to submit work?

Thursday, September 27.

When is Open Mic Prose Night?

Thursday, October 18, at 6:00 p.m. in the McSwain Lecture Hall.

At Open Mic Prose Night, can I read a work that I didn’t write?

Yes, you can read a work by a favorite author. Just be sure to include the title and author of the work before you begin reading.

Is there a time limit for Open Mic Prose Night readings?

Each student is limited to five minutes per reading. If students wish to read an excerpt from a longer work, they should provide some context for the excerpt. We first call to the stage students from the sign-up sheet, but then open the floor to anyone who wants to read. After everyone has read, students who wish to read a second work may do so if we have time remaining.