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The Al Landweher Creative Writing Contest is now open for submissions.

Laura Wilkinson

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Underneath the back-to-school hustle of buying books and crashing classes, there is bubbling creative activity as Cal Poly’s sharpest writers prepare for the approaching deadline of the 44th annual Al Landwehr Creative Writing Contest.

“People don’t usually think of a polytechnic school as an artistic center, but secretly, it is,” English professor and creative writing program co-director Kevin Clark said. “There are many creative people, and we’ve had winners from just about every college on campus.”

Wine and viticulture senior Maddie Mori, who has entered work in the past, has a number of poems lined up for this year’s contest.

“Absolutely, I recommend submitting multiple works,” Clark said. “Like I tell my creative writing students: The more you submit, the more likely it is an editor, in this case a judge, will find something that aligns with their literary aesthetic.”

The competition usually generates anywhere from 25 to 60 submissions in both the short story and poetry categories, Clark said.

Cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place selections in each group. The winning submissions and editors’ choices are also published in Byzantium, the English department’s award-winning annual literary magazine.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to be published in an anthology of student work and I hope we see more chances like this in the future for students to show off their writing abilities,” Mori said.

The deadline to enter is Feb. 7 at noon. For contest details, students can visit the contest’s page through the Cal Poly English department website.

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