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2023 School of Undergraduate Studies Writing Flag Award

The 2023 Undergraduate College Writing Flag Award honors the best writing produced by UT undergraduates in courses carrying the Writing Flag. Prizes will be awarded to student work that best demonstrates clarity, inventiveness, and intellectual rigor.


  • Research: Writing that uses primary and/or secondary sources to pursue an original line of inquiry—4,000-word limit. Judges in this category will look particularly for depth of scholarship, insight, and originality.
  • Persuasive/critical: Writing that aims to change readers’ opinions. May or may not use outside sources —3,000-word limit. Judges in this category will look particularly for artful treatment of the subject, logic, voice, and style.
  • Creative/Reflective: Poems, plays, fiction, and creative non-fiction—3,000-word limit. Judges in this category will look particularly for inventiveness, insight, and narrative expression.


Twelve prizes will be awarded in all. First, second, and third-place prizes will be awarded in each category:

  • First Place: $300
  • Second Place: $200
  • Third Place: $100

In the research category, two sets of prizes will be awarded: first, second, and third-place work written in science, engineering, and related classes; and first, second, and third-place for work written in humanities, fine arts, and interdisciplinary classes.

Submit Your Writing

Eligibility and Contest Rules

  • The judges will consider works written by any undergraduate student, submitted for credit in a UT Austin Writing Flag class in the spring, summer, or fall semester of 2023. Course(s) must be taken in residence.
  • Only one entry per student. Students must choose one category in which to enter their work. Submissions that do not meet the eligibility, formatting, and length requirements will not be considered.
  • Co-authored works may be submitted in any category. Co-authors will be contacted to confirm their agreement to the contest terms. Any prizes awarded will be split equally among co-authors.
  • Entries may use any citation style. Any notes that explain or comment on the main text—footnotes, annotated bibliographies, illustration captions, or appendices—must be included in the word total for the entry. References that merely provide source-locating information, like a Works Cited page, do not need to be counted in the word total for the entry. In-text citations should be included in the word count. If your work exceeds the word limit, we urge you to visit the University Writing Center in the PCL to work with a consultant there on tightening your prose. Check their schedule
  • Entries submitted after 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2023 will not be accepted.
  • Students will indicate on the entry form that they are submitting their original and unpublished work, and that they grant permission for their work to be published by UGS and the university on its websites and for other promotional purposes. Students will retain copyright to their work.
  • Submitted work need not be identical to the version of the work that was submitted for class credit. Students are welcome and encouraged to further revise their work in consultation with the University Writing Center before entering.
  • First-place winners in any category are not eligible to enter in the same category in subsequent years. They may enter their work in other categories.

For any questions do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone at 512-471-5949.