Submission to the W-Challenge is now open! The Writing Programs at NDSU invite all undergraduate students to submit their writing to the W-Challenge, a writing contest with awards. Students can submit writing that falls into any of six award categories: academic writing, creative writing, professional writing, everyday writing, writing in foreign languages, and multimodal writing.

The W-Challenge is a great way to gain recognition for your work, receive additional writing practice outside of the classroom, and earn prizes.

The fifth annual W-Challenge invites all NDSU undergraduate student writers to submit their written work. Projects may incorporate visual, audio, digital and/or other media, but must include a substantial textual component. Judges will evaluate texts across six categories:

  • Academic Writing (Freshman/Sophomore; Junior/Senior)
  • Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing
  • Everyday Writing
  • Creative Writing
  • Writing in Foreign Languages
  • Multimodal Writing

Please submit work to

Please include the following information on your submission:

  • Name
  • Student ID
  • NDSU email
  • Current standing at NDSU (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)

Students who enter before March 13, 2020 will be eligible for the early submission award.

The final deadline to submit work is April 13, 2020.


Categories & Criteria

Each student may make 1 submission per category; no more than 3 total submissions.

Academic Writing

The Academic Writing category includes any project produced for college-level courses in any discipline. Submissions will be grouped by students’ year at NDSU (Freshman/Sophomore; Junior/Senior). This category also includes texts produced in the pursuit of scholarly output. Examples include research essays, literary critiques, scientific reports, rhetorical analyses, capstone presentations, and research-based social media projects. Note: submissions do not need to have been produced for an NDSU course to be submitted in this category.

Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing

The Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing category includes texts designed for professional, technical, and scientific spaces situated outside of academia. Any genre that participates in the communicative practices of a workplace belongs in this category. Examples include business documents, feasibility reports, memos, proposals, infographics, advertising and marketing documents, persuasive letters or emails, and business-related social media projects.

Everyday Writing

The Everyday Writing category includes texts that serve a variety of purposes, both personal and public. Projects that do not fit other categories may find a home here. Examples include letters to the editor, opinion or journalistic writing, reviews, other correspondence, rants, and excuses.

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing category includes texts produced as a means of creative expression. Examples include short stories, poems, scripts, lyrics/songs, comedy writing, creative non-fiction, literary journalism, memoir, and satire. Note: submissions do not need to have been produced for a creative writing course (or any course at all) to be submitted in this category. 

Writing in Foreign Languages

The Writing in Foreign Languages category is open to any student writing in a language that is not his or her native/home language  (including English, if English is not the student’s native language). Texts may fit any genre and any purpose, and they may have been written in or out of classes. 

Multimodal Writing

The Multimodal Writing category includes writing that incorporates multiple modes of communication, using language in combination with visual, audio, spatial, and/or gestural modes. Multimodal writing often uses technology, art and design, and other means beyond traditional words-and-paper to communicate the information and message. Examples include video essays, podcasts, picture books or graphic novels, song lyrics, social media posts and pages, websites, and other creations that combine writing with other modes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the W-Challenge and the Showcase of Student Writing?

The W-Challenge is a writing contest. The Showcase of Student Writing is a celebratory event where students display their writing publicly.


How many pieces of writing can I submit to the W-Challenge?

Students may submit 1 piece of writing for each category, up to 3 total submissions.


Can the piece(s) for the W-Challenge be previously written for a class?

 Yes. Students can submit anything written in or outside of class.


When/how can I submit my work to the W-Challenge?

Submissions will be accepted any time before April 1, 2019 in electronic or hard copy form. Send electronic submissions to; please attach as a .doc, .docx, .jpeg, .PDF, .mp3, .html, or .mpeg. If you have a different kind of file format, please email to see if we can accommodate your entry. Bring hard copies to the English Department, 318 Minard Hall.


Please include the following information on your submission:

·         Name

·         Student ID

·         NDSU email

·         Current standing at NDSU (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)


For the Writing in Foreign Languages category, can I submit writing in my native language or do submissions have to be in English?
For the Writing in Foreign Languages category, students may submit writing in any language. If English is not a student writer’s home language, he or she may submit writing in English under this category and it will be judged as writing in foreign languages. We currently have judges in Spanish, French, Arabic, German, Latin, and English, but if students submit writing in another language, we will do our best to identify judges in your language.


Can I submit my work anonymously or under a pen name?
Submissions to the W-Challenge must be submitted under the student’s real name. Students not submitting work for the W-Challenge but required by an instructor to participate in the Showcase who wish to remain anonymous may discuss options for remaining anonymous with the instructor.


Can I submit multimodal work for the W-Challenge or Showcase?
Yes, students may submit multimodal work for the W-Challenge or Showcase. However, because the focus is writing, the work must contain a substantial alphabetic component.


Can graduate students submit writing to the W-Challenge?
No, at this time the W-Challenge is only open to undergraduates.

Please note that we reserve the right to withhold display of materials that violate NDSU’s Student Code of Conduct. 

More on the W-Challenge

For more information about the W-Challenge categories, as well as FAQs, visit our website. Please email with further questions.

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