students writing

Creative Writing Certificate Program


Fall 2014

students writing

Submission deadline: Friday, November 14, @ 4:30 p.m.
Drop-off box in BR-21.


Download entry forms with contest rules.


The Judith Stark Award offers cash prizes for poetry, fiction and plays written by currently enrolled students here at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Judith Stark was a faculty member of the English Department during our earliest years. She was passionately interested in Creative Writing. She was killed in a car accident in 1971. The award was established in her memory that same year. Now, the contest receives well over one hundred entries every semester.

Every semester, entry forms and full guidelines for the contest are available in the Liberal Studies office (room BR-21) next to the Judith Stark drop-off box. Each student may submit up to 3 poems, 1 piece of short fiction of a total of no more than thirty pages, and 1 stage plays of a total of no more than thirty pages. It is not unusual for students to enter in more than a single category. All work must be typed double-spaced in twelve point type. Each poem submitted must begin on a new page. Submit three copies of each manuscript, and keep a fourth for yourself, as submissions will not be returned.

The contest entries are anonymous. After judges file away the contact information on the entry form, they assign each writer a number that will appear on all of his or her entries. Be careful not to put your name and contact information on the work you submit, as all manuscripts that contain identifying information will be will be discarded.

Winners will be announced shortly after the contest deadline and should receive their checks in the mail before the end of the calendar year. They will also be invited to take part in a public reading in the spring, and be recognized at the Academic Awards ceremony in May. For some, winning the Judith Stark Contest marks the beginning of a literary career. Winners are part of a special community of writers who have gone on to do undergraduate and graduate work in colleges like Temple or the New School in New York, and to win other grants and awards. One recent winner in fiction now has his novel with a literary agent. Another won a $15,000 grant from the Leeway Foundation.