The League of Utah Writers

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Olive Woolley Burt Awards 

Welcome to the League of Utah Writers 2021 

Olive Woolley Burt Awards Writing Contest.  


•       Submission period begins March 1st and closes May 31st.

•       All entries must be the original work of the contestant.

•       Previously published works do not qualify for this contest.

•       Entries may not be entered into more than one category.

•       Works previously awarded a LUW cash prize do not qualify for this contest.

Submitted entries are judged as initially submitted (although you may withdraw your entry and resubmit anytime prior to the submission deadline). 

The submission process, judging, and feedback will all be done via You'll find the categories listed below. 

  • Open the category of your choice and read the guidelines.
  • Click to submit.  
  • Fill in the required fields for your entry, and your payment information. You will find two entry fee options: one price for members of the League and one price for non-members. 
  • Click Submit.
  • You will either sign in to your Submittable account or create a free account before actually submitting your entry.

For questions regarding the Submittable website, please see their help pages:


In no way does the League of Utah Writers or Submittable share your personal information with any third party. Any information of such a nature is only for use in contacting the submitter or allowing Submittable to identify your account, should you need assistance.

Please make sure your Submittable account INCLUDES A MAILING ADDRESS, along with your email address.  One more time for the people in the back: INCLUDE A MAILING ADDRESS. You need not be present at the awards ceremony to win. If you are not present and you place in a category, we will mail you your award, but only if you include your MAILING ADDRESS!


All categories are judged on a scale of 1 - 10, ten being the best score, with the exception of the Grammar category. Grammar is judged on a scale of 1 - 5, five being the best score. There is also a field for the judges to leave their feedback on your work.  


IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN BLIND JUDGING, your name or any other identifying information should NOT appear anywhere on your entry: not in the header, not in the body of the entry, not in the file name, no URL references, etc. Names are tracked through the Submittable account info, to which the judges have no access. 




  • Use a 1″ margin on all sides
  • Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the book, usually the introduction, prologue, or chapter one.
  • Use a header on each page including the title of your entry, and the page number. e.g.  Once Upon a Time in Utah/12
  • Start each new chapter on its own page, one-third of the way down the page.
  • The chapter number and chapter title should be in all caps, separated by two hyphens: CHAPTER 1—NOT MY MONKEYS NOT MY CIRCUS.
  • Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
  • Indent fives spaces for each new paragraph. 
  • Double-space the entire text.
  • Use a standard font, 12-point type. Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier


  • Type one poem to a page, single-spaced with double-spacing between stanzas. 
  • Leave at least a one-inch margin on all sides of the page.
  • Use a header on each page with the title of your entry, e.g. Thoughts of a Young Lyricist
  • The title of your poem should appear centered, six lines underneath your header.
  • Begin the poem one line beneath the title.



The contest is open for traditionally non-published work only. Self-published work is allowable provided you have sold fewer than 100 copies.

Each submission to the 2021 Olive Woolley Burt Awards may be entered into one category only. These guidelines are meant to assist you in deciding which category to choose for each of your submissions. Entries are weighted on objective standards, such as formatting and length limitations, but these guidelines are less firm than elements such as form, genre, style, and intended readership. 

Some submissions might be appropriate for more than one category, nevertheless a unique entry may only be submitted to one category. For example, a funny 1,000-word story about a botanist and a flight commander stranded on Mars might be suitable for short fiction, genre fiction, romance, or flash, but may only be submitted to one of these. It is ultimately up to you to decide the category in which you feel your submission will fare best. 

However, if you have three unique pieces that are all Speculative Fiction, you can enter all three in the Speculative Fiction category.  

*Violation of the rules will result in a non-judged piece and forfeiture of entry fees. 

Category Descriptions


1 - Light Verse – (rhyming, metrical, and/or humorous) - Verse with playful themes written primarily to please, amuse, and entertain. 

2 - Narrative Poetry (open or closed form) - Poetry that tells a story. It is usually dramatic, with objectives, diverse characters, and meter. 

3 - Prose Poem - Prose poetry is written like prose, abandoning the line breaks, but retaining poetic elements such as vivid imagery, metaphor, and heightened expression. 

4 – Word Play - Any style of poem incorporating wit in which the words become the main subject of the work, primarily intended for amusement. The entry must incorporate the following words: champagne, glow, arrest, cozy, stew, penetrate, agony, and filigree.


5 – Creative Nonfiction - Factually accurate prose about real people and events, written in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. 

6 - Media Article - Any story or article intended for a magazine, journal, or websites.

7 – Short Romance -  A story where the main plot centers around individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationshiop work, AND includes an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. 

8 - Short Fiction - Stories that explore themes such as the human condition, interpersonal relationships, and societal issues. May also be described as "short story," "literary fiction," "straight fiction," or "up-market fiction."

9 - Speculative Fiction - Includes genres like Science Fiction, and Edgy fiction. As well as fantastical genres like Alternate History, Fantasy and Apocalyptic/post-Apocalyptic Fiction. 

10- Flash Fiction – (Fiction or Nonfiction) - A story with a fully developed theme, plot, and story arc in fewer than 1000 words.

11 - First Chapter (Novel) - The first chapter of a novel that is intended for an adult readership, but of any genre or style. 

12 – First Chapter (Young Adult) - The first chapter of a novel that is intended for the young adult or middle grade market but of any genre or style. 

13 - Children's Story - The text of a children's book. May be fictional or nonfiction and may explore any topic, theme, or genre, but intended for children. 

14 – Spiritual Essay - Spirituality can have many different definitions, depending on who is asked. It can be something as simple as looking for a higher meaning to life, or something so complex that one can base their beliefs, religion and overall life around it.

15 - Screenplay - Fiction or non-fiction. All scripts must be written in proper screenplay format (the use of screenplay writing software is recommended). Any script not written in proper screenplay format will be disqualified.To learn more about proper screenplay format, please go to: 


New Writer (New Voices)

16 - First Chapter – The first chapter of any style or genre of book. 

17 - Creative Nonfiction - factually accurate prose about real people and events, written in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. 

18 – Fiction - Stories that explore themes such as the human condition, interpersonal relationships, and societal issues. May also be described as “short story,” “literary fiction,” “straight fiction,” or “up-market fiction.”

19 – Poetry – Any style or type of poem. 

The League of Utah Writers