Artists of Promise - Creative Writing Competition

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 virtual Artists of Promise Event during the Spring of 2023.

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.


  • Students must be enrolled during the semester in which they submit to the contest.
  • Student work previously published in nationally recognized publications or work that has won a national award is not eligible for the competition.
  • Work published in MCCCD college-level publications is eligible for submission.
  • A contestant must be a currently enrolled "for credit" student at one of the Maricopa Community Colleges (All faculty excluded).
  • Students who have previously won First Place in a category are not eligible to submit again in that category.
  • ALL entries MUST be submitted online via the link below
  • Only one entry per category may be submitted by an individual.

Submission and Judging Process

Entries not meeting guidelines and entry requirements will not be accepted. Entries from each category will be blind-reviewed by a panel of experts in the corresponding discipline. 

Student Entry Deadline: Friday, December 9, 2022

Online adjudication will take place in January 2023. 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 or 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 in early February 2023.
  • First-place work in each category will be recognized at an Artists of Promise Gala scheduled for April 18, 2023.
  • All awards will be issued via student accounts in SIS in late April
    • $500 for first place;
    • $200 for second place; 
    • $100 for third place.

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

College Contacts

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