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Creative Writing Contest Entry and Rules

EligibilityThe LAND Writing Contest is open to any student currently enrolled in a credit class at a public Michigan two-year college. The MCC Writing Contest is preliminary to the LAND Contest and is open only to students who are or were registered for MCC classes in calendar year 2020 (spring, summer, fall semesters). 

  • Montcalm Community College may submit two entries per category to the statewide competition.
  • An official entry form (PDF) must be filled out completely. A form must be signed by the student author and college instructor or representative and attached to each submission.
  • The entry deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020.


  • Short fiction and creative non-fiction must be fewer than 2,000 words in length; poems must be 50 lines or less.
  • No previously published work may be submitted.
  • Work must be original. Any borrowed ideas or language must be appropriately acknowledged.
  • Authors must be willing to have their work published under their own names. No anonymous or pseudonymous work will be accepted.
  • An individual MCC student may submit up to two works per category (Short story, poetry, and creative non-fiction)
  • This contest is not open to research papers or critical essays.

Procedures for the MCC Phase of the ContestPrepare your entry or entries exactly as described in these instructions. Incomplete or improperly submitted entries will be rejected. 

  • Ask any willing MCC instructor (English teachers are nice, but not necessary) to serve as your mentor by signing the entry form.
  • When you sign your entry form, you verify that the submitted work is original. Please don’t embarrass yourself and MCC by plagiarizing, either in word or idea.
  • Save each file as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx) or a .pdf file.
  • Submit your entry or entries as an email attachment or attachments to a message addressed to with “MCC Writing Contest Entry” in the subject line. If you submit more than one entry, save each entry as a separate file identified by the title of the poem, essay, or story.
  • Additionally, submit your entry or entries in hard copy, with a separate, signed entry form for each entry, to contest coordinator Chad Walden, Doser 331. (You may slide it under the door.)
  • Entries will only be considered if they are submitted both by e-mail and in hard copy with a completed entry form.


  • Neither the author’s name nor the name of the author’s college should appear anywhere on any entry.
  • Entries will be identified by the author’s student number, which should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • All multi-page entries must be titled and paginated.
  • Fiction and essay entries must have title pages that include the story or essay title and the author’s student number, but not the author’s name or the college name.
  • All entries must have one-inch margins and page numbers.
  • Creative non-fiction must be double-spaced. Fiction must be double-spaced unless alternate formatting is an integral part of the story’s aesthetic effect. Poems may be spaced and arranged according to the poet’s intent.
  • All entries must be submitted in .doc, .docx, or.pdf format. When format is an integral part of the work’s aesthetic effect, a scanned image converted to a PDF document is acceptable.

Procedures and Stipulations for the LAND Phase of the ContestJudging Criteria: 

  • Judges chosen by the LAND organization will determine first, second, and third place in each category.
  • Creative non-fiction will be judged on originality of content, purpose, audience awareness, organization, development, style, and mechanics.
  • Fiction and poetry will be judged on imaginative insight, sensitivity to language, and control of formal elements (e.g. point of view, metrics, etc.)
  • Contest guidelines are based on those used by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).


  • Students retain the copyright to their submissions to LAND student competitions. However, students need to grant LAND the right to reproduce any submission on its website or any other LAND publication regardless of medium of publication.

Information About the Sponsoring OrganizationThe Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) is open to all people involved in liberal arts at any Michigan community college. LAND was formed to engender close ties, facilitate communications, and meet the needs of those teaching and administering liberal arts programs and curricula throughout Michigan. 

  • For more information about LAND, visit the LAND website.
  • LAND does not accept entries sent directly by students. The entry form should be submitted by each college’s contest coordinator. Please note that both you and your faculty sponsor should sign the form.
Chad Walden, Language Arts Instructor & Writing Center Coordinator
989-328-2111, Ext. 261