Ben Belitt Undergraduate Writing Prize Competition

The literature faculty is excited to announce a new literary prize competition for student writers at Bennington: the Ben Belitt Undergraduate Literary Prize for 2024. Open to all undergraduate writers of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction at Bennington, the competition will award three $1,000 prizes to the top submissions in any genre (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid/experimental work).

The winners will be chosen by the 2024 Ben Belitt Distinguished Visiting Writer Jia Tolentino and announced before the end of the Spring ‘24 term. The deadline for submission to the prize competition is Monday, April 15.

The Ben Belitt Undergraduate Writing Prize is part of Literature at Bennington’s annual program honoring the legacy of Ben Belitt, an American poet and translator who was a professor of comparative literature at Bennington for nearly fifty years. The prize competition, along with the rest of our annual Ben Belitt programming, is made possible by the generous support of the Winston Foundation. 

Application Guidelines

To qualify for the Ben Belitt Undergraduate Writing Prize, you must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student at Bennington College.

The competition is open to creative writing in any genre–fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid/experimental work—and not to academic writing. Some contemporary forms of poetry and prose have critical elements, and the judging of the competition will take this into account. Scholarly or academic papers without any larger creative purpose or scheme will have to be disqualified. Students may submit entries in up to three genres, but not individual multi-genre entries.

Please submit:

  1. A cover letter stating your name, year in school, and a description of the work you are submitting with the genre;
  2. Eight to twelve pages of poetry if you are applying for a prize in poetry, no more than 12 pp. in length total; 15-25 pages of fiction (double-spaced) if you are applying for a prize in fiction; 15-25 pages of creative nonfiction (double spaced) if you are applying for a prize in nonfiction. Please include page numbers.


Entries for the prize competition must be sent by email to Program Coordinator Jessica Lynn ( by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 15, 2024. No late entries will be accepted. All manuscripts must be clearly marked with the author’s name and title(s) of the work, and with pages numbered.


If you have any questions about the Ben Belitt Undergraduate Writing Prize competition, contact Benjamin Anastas ( from the literature faculty.