Any student enrolled in an NWF State College course for credit at the time of submission is eligible to enter.

A student may submit up to 7 entries of prose and/or poetry.

Poems submitted to the magazine may also be entered in the James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest if the writer is an undergraduate.

All submissions must be in Word (.doc, .docx) or Rich Text (.rtf) format.

Each document must contain only one piece. (Separate each poem/prose piece into a separate document.)

Do not include your name or any other identifying information in the document. Submitting through this site will enable the editors to locate your name with your work after pieces have been read.



As part of READS 2019, the English department is sponsoring a student writing contest in Creative Nonfiction as a link to our READS 2019 literary nonfiction writer, Sebastian Junger. Sebastian’s most recent work is Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, which explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning.  He will be speaking Monday evening, April 15, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Main Theater on the Niceville campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Sometimes called the fourth genre, creative nonfiction includes the personal essay, memoir, cultural criticism, and journalism. It is subjective. According to authors Robert L. Root, Jr. and Michael Steinberg, authors of The Fourth Genre, “creative nonfiction is reliably factual, firmly anchored in real experience, whether the author has lived it or observed and recorded it. . . . [C]reative nonfiction writers sometimes alter the accuracy of events in order to achieve the accuracy of interpretation” (xxvi-xxvii). 

Submissions are accepted from Feb. 9 to March 16. Students may enter by logging into (The site is directly under the Blackwater Review description.) First prize is $100; second, $50, and third, $25. The winners will be announced at the Blackwater Review reading on April 11. 

We are indebted to the Rietta Howard literary fund for contest sponsorship. Ms. Howard was an English department faculty member from 1968 to 1992 and delighted in introducing literature to her many students over the decades.

For further info, contact READS Director Dr. Beverly Holmes at

Blackwater Review