Artists of Promise - Creative Writing Competition



Each year, the Maricopa Community Colleges sponsor a districtwide competition to encourage and recognize student achievement in the following categories:

  • Essay
  • Fiction
  • One Act-Play/Script
  • Poetry

Winning students will receive cash awards, be published in Maricopa’s literary magazine, Passages, and be recognized at the Artists of Promise Gala to be held in April, 2021. 

Also, the first-place winners in each category will be submitted by the district to then compete at the National Level in the League of Innovation in the Community Colleges Creative Writing Competition.

Recent Editions of Passages

Competition Details

Maximum Length of Submissions

  • Essay: 2,000 words
  • Fiction: 3,000 words
  • One-Act Play/Script: 3,000 words including stage direction and/or production notes
  • Poetry: 67 lines

The upper right corner of each page of the entry must include the Page Number.  Your name appearing anywhere on your creative writing document will result in an automatic disqualification.

Entries must be submitted online. College coordinators will verify submissions. Please note the document MUST be word-processed in a 12 point type and in 8 1/2 x 11” formatting.


  • A contestant must be a currently enrolled "for credit" student at one of the Maricopa Community Colleges (All faculty excluded). Entries must be works written during the students' enrollment in credit courses at an MCCCD college. Students who have previously won First Place in a category are not eligible to submit again in that category. 
  • ALL entries MUST be submitted via the online application
  • Only one entry per category may be submitted by an individual. Entries cannot be works from a previous publication or works that have already placed in the Maricopa district competition.

Submission and Judging Process

Entries not meeting guidelines and entry requirements will not be accepted.  Entries from each of the categories will be blind reviewed by a panel of experts in the corresponding discipline. Winners in each of the categories will be showcased in Passages, a Maricopa Community Colleges annual publication dedicated to the competition.  

Please see the online application for Competition Requirements, Criterion, and to submit your work.

Entry Process Opens: November 16, 2020
Student Entry Deadline: December 18, 2020

Online adjudication will take place after the student entry deadline. The judges are professionals in the field of creative writing. The decisions of the judges are final.

Maricopa County Community College District assumes no responsibility for lost, misdirected entries, or printing errors in the final publication. All physical entries become the property of MCCCD without infringement on the copyrights of the entrants. MCCCD reserves the right to edit for spelling and grammatical errors. Entries will be screened for proper submission procedures and will be rejected if they do not meet the general eligibility or the specific entry requirements.


  • Winners will be notified during the 2021 Spring semester by the Maricopa Center for Learning & Innovation (MCLI).  
  • First-place work in each category will be recognized at the Artists of Promise Gala scheduled for April 2021 (event exhibition).
  • All awards will be issued via U.S. Mail shortly after the Artists of Promise performance.
    • $300 for first place;
    • $200 for second place; 
    • $100 for third place.

First Place winners will be entered in the League for Innovation in the Community College’s National Student Literary Competition and will be required to complete League application materials, which will be provided.

Submit your entry

College Contacts



Open To
Current Students
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