Exclusive to USC Dornsife students and alumni
Deadline: March 15, 2024


As an alumnus/alumna or student of USC Dornsife, you are invited to enter the USC Dornsife Magazine Creative Writing Contest. The winner will have their work published in USC Dornsife Magazine, which has won more than 45 awards for excellence and is distributed to 70,000 alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends of USC Dornsife. Entries will be judged by Dana Johnson, chair and professor of English and director of the USC Dornsife PhD Program in Creative Writing and Literature; David Ulin, professor of the practice of English, editor-in-chief of USC Dornsife’s literary magazine Air/Light, author and former book critic of the Los Angeles Times; and Susan Bell, editor-in-chief of USC Dornsife Magazine. Both Johnson and Ulin have served as judges for National Book Award and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. In addition, Ulin has twice been a Pulitzer Prize judge and Johnson has served as a judge for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

The winning entry will be published in the Spring / Summer 2024 issue of USC Dornsife Magazine, accompanied by a short bio of the author.

We may also publish the winning entry in our e-newsletters to students, faculty and staff and alumni and post it on the USC Dornsife website.

Good luck! We look forward to reading your entries.


  • The contest is open to USC Dornsife alumni and students (undergraduates and graduates) — with the exception of published authors.
  • Deadline to submit entries is March 15, 2024.
  • You may enter creative writing in any of the following genres: fiction, poetry, memoir or essay.
  • All entries must be original, previously unpublished work.
  • Your entry must be inspired by the theme of the Spring / Summer 2024 issue of USC Dornsife — “Health and Well-being.”
  • Entries must not exceed 500 words.
  • We reserve the right to edit entries in consultation with the writer.