Write and win up to $2000!
The Technical Communication Program at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering oversees numerous writing competitions, each with a different history and purpose. Each competition, moreover, has its own eligibility requirements and awards format. Although several of the competitions were created to honor excellence in technical communication, other styles and genres of writing are recognized and rewarded, too. For example, you may be particularly proud of a technical report or a political essay, or a blog from your experience studying abroad, or a piece of fiction; all of these, and more, can be submitted to the competitions.
You may submit entries to more than one contest or prize, but the entries must be different pieces of work. That is, a single piece of writing may be submitted into only one competition, but you can submit different entries to different contests in any given year. Before submitting work, you should read the eligibility rules and guidelines for the competition(s) you plan to enter. The link is below.
Any questions about the contests can be directed to Technical Communication Program Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-764-1427
Contests & Prizes
The annual writing competitions are detailed in the links below. The monetary awards for these competitions derive from donor funds, established from a special history and preserved for a unique purpose. Please follow the links below to learn about the history, purpose, eligibility rules, and specific guidelines for each contest or prize.
Cooley Writing Contest
George M. Landes Prize for Technical Communications
Mack Essay Contest
Please note that some of the competitions are not sponsored by the Program in Technical Communication and the College of Engineering but are open to the full university community. We have provided this information as a service to our engineering students who may want to enter a writing competition outside of the College of Engineering.
Common Reading Experience
Students may submit an essay on any topic related to the Common Reading Experience text. This category is only open to first-year students who participated in the Common Reading Experience.
Length: 20 pages double-spaced max | Contest: Cooley Writing Contest
Students may submit a drama work. Although longer works are not excluded from competition, short stories and one-act plays usually comprise the largest number of entries. Authors of novels and full-length plays, as well as shorter works, should consider the possible advantages of entering the annual Hopwood Awards Program, in addition to the Cooley Writing Contest.
Students may submit an essay that explores a non-technical subject. Students may submit their essay to multiple contests. Authors of novels and full-length plays, as well as shorter works, should consider the possible advantages of entering the annual Hopwood Awards Program, in addition to the Cooley Writing Contest.
Students may submit a work of fiction. Although longer works are not excluded from competition, short stories and one-act plays usually comprise the largest number of entries. Authors of novels and full-length plays, as well as shorter works, should consider the possible advantages of entering the annual Hopwood Awards Program, in addition to the Cooley Writing Contest.
Study, work, intern, or volunteer abroad essay or blog
Students who have studied, worked, interned, or volunteered abroad may submit a written essay or blog reflecting on their experience. Students should demonstrate cultural learning in their submission.
Contest: Cooley Writing Contest
Students may submit a single piece of technical work. This may include a technical article, a design report, a piece of technical journalism, or any presentation of technical work. Presentations may be written or may involve a combination of other communication media. First-year students may submit their work to the First Year Division, to be judged separately from upper-level students.
Length: 10,000 words double-spaced max | Contest: George M. Landes Prize for Technical Communication