Wallace E. Knight Excellence in Writing Award

The Wallace E. Knight Excellence in Writing Award fund was established in 1996 by Wallace E. Knight (1926-2014) to recognize and support excellence in creative writing by Marshall University Students. Knight was an Associate Professor of Journalism at Marshall University and prolific author of poetry and fiction. His story, “The Way We Went” was included in Best American Short Stories of 1973 and his novel, Lightstruck, appeared from Little, Brown and Company in 1979.


To be eligible for the award, the applicant must be a current student during the academic year for which the award is being granted, and the student must have a declared major within the College of Liberal Arts. Work will be considered in any of the creative writing genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama.

Submission Guidelines

  • Students must include a cover letter, not exceeding 750 words, describing the work, its genre, and its creation.
  • Students must include a letter of support/sponsorship from COLA faculty member. (This need not be more than a sentence or two, addressed to the Knight Writing Award Committee, that affirms the faculty member’s endorsement of this student’s writing. The student need not have written it for class or for academic purposes.)
  • Students must include a submission of creative work: Up to 5 poems in a single document or 10-20 double-spaced pages of prose, submitted in PDF form.
  • The work should be formatted in accordance with MLA style guidelines
  • The cover letter, letter of support, and submission should be submitted as separate documents

Submission Deadline

All materials must be submitted no later than Midnight (12 AM) on April 2.

How to Submit

Use the Online Submission Form below.

Judging and Notification

  • Submissions will be judged by the Wallace E. Knight Excellence in Writing Award committee.
  • Finalists will be chosen in all four creative writing disciplines, with the award recipient selected from among those four finalists.
  • The finalists and award recipient will be notified via email and invited to a presentation at Cola Creativity Conference, April 19-20.


If you have questions regarding the Wallace E. Knight Excellence in Writing Award please contact: