A Bennington Legacy

Seven Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, a MacArthur “Genius,” countless New York Times bestsellers, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people—this is Bennington’s literary legacy.

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Teacher-Practitioner

Bennington’s literature faculty is comprised of renowned novelists, nonfiction writers, essayists, poets, and playwrights. They are National Endowment for the Arts fellows, Fulbright fellows, and PEN Award finalists, and have been published in The New Yorker, Slate, The Paris Review, Yale Review, Tin House, The Literary Review, Chicago Review, Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Award Winners, among others.

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Best of the Best

The work of our faculty is among the best creative work being published today. But don’t take our word for it. Each year, prestigious anthologies such as the The Best American series, The Pushcart Prize collection, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories compile the finest fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published from the previous year. Rare is the year when the Writing Seminars faculty isn’t represented in their pages. How rare, you ask? Take a tally in the following slideshow.

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1st place: $500

2nd place: $250 

First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for each genre. Winning entries are published below.

Bennington College—whose literary legacy includes seven Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, a MacArthur “Genius,” countless New York Times bestsellers, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people—invites submissions for its annual Young Writers Awards.

Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades during the current academic year may enter in one of the following categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), or nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). All entries must be original work and sponsored by a high school teacher. Judges include Bennington College faculty and students. 

Submission deadline: November 1. You may submit online or by mail (mailed entries must be accompanied by a submission form, available from your English teacher or by downloading here.

Last year, more than 2,300 students submitted poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to the Young Writers Awards competition. We congratulate all entrants on their extraordinary submissions, and are pleased to share past winning entries.

Information: For more information about the Young Writers and other programs at Bennington College, please contact the Admissions Office at 800-833-6845.

2013–2014 Winners

Poetry

  • First Place, Ian Burnette, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH), Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Talin Tahajian, Belmont High School, Belmont, MA

Fiction

  • First place, Story Ponvert, ACES Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven, CT
  • Second Place, Oriana Tang, Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ

Nonfiction

  • First place, Alexa Derman, Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ
  • Second Place, Sierra Maniates-Selvin, University High School, Urbana, IL

2012–2013 Winners

Poetry

  • First Place, Kathleen Cole, The Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Zoe Jeka, Severna Park Senior High School, Severna Park, MD

Fiction

  • First place, Grazie Christie, Carrollton Sacred Heart, Miami, FL
  • Second Place, Julia Hogan, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC

Nonfiction

  • First place, Jonathan Gelernter, ACES Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven, CT
  • Second Place, Elana Spivack, Northern Valley Regional High School, Demarest, NJ

2011–2012 Winners

Poetry

  • First Place, Kamry Goodwin, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Elizabeth Bennett, Milton Academy, Milton, MA

Fiction

  • First Place, Karintha Lowe, Milton Academy, Milton, MA
  • Second Place, Scarlett McCarthy, Idyllwild School Of Music/Arts, Idyllwild, CA

Nonfiction

  • First Place, Anna Pittman, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Madeleine Wattenbarger, Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, PA

2010–2011 Winners

Poetry

  • First Place, Victoria Ford, SC Governor's School for the Art and Humanities, Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Andi Pardee, The Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC

Fiction

  • First Place, Alexandra Lubman, Bard High School Early College, New York, NY
  • Second Place, Alexandra Servaes, Academy of the Holy Cross, Kensington, MD

Nonfiction

  • First Place, Kaitlyn Linsley, Home School, Mason, MI
  • Second Place, Dalia Wolfson, Hunter College High School, New York, NY

2009-2010 Winners

Poetry

  • First Place, Caroline Bayne, The Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC
  • Second Place, Shon Arieh-Lerer, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

Fiction

  • First Place, Mackenzie Allen, Warren Hills Regional High School, Washington, NJ
  • Second Place, Nora Moncada, Bard High School Early College, New York, NY

Nonfiction

  • First Place, Graham Duff, Bishop Hendricken High School, Warwick, RI
  • Second Place, Caitlin Owsley, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL