Delta Epsilon Sigma Sponsors Annual Undergraduate Writing Competition

Delta Epsilon Sigma (DES), a national scholastic honor society for students attending Catholic colleges and universities, sponsors an annual writing contest open to all St. Thomas undergraduate students. The deadline for submission is Monday, Nov. 28. 

Contest entries can be submitted electronically to Dr. Michael C. Jordan at A faculty committee will select one submission in each category to be entered in the national competition for the $500 national prize. Manuscripts may be submitted in any of the four categories: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction prose and scholarly research. The winner in each of the four categories will receive a $500 prize. A second prize of $250 also is sometimes awarded.

The first phase of the competition is conducted by local DES chapters. Editorial comment and advice by a faculty mentor is appropriate as an aid preparatory to student revision, so long as all writing is done by the student. A chapter may forward to the national competition only one entry in each category. 

Prose manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced and 1,500 to 5,000 words in length. A long poem should be submitted singly; shorter lyrics may be submitted singly or in groups of two or three.

Final judging and the announcement of the results will take place by May 1, 2012. Winners will be notified through the office of the local chapter moderator.

Scholarly research submissions guidelines

Research essays should be done according to accepted guidelines within the discipline with appropriate citation method (APA, MLA or other relevant form). Research should be primary and incorporate original results, observations and insight. In other words, the competition seeks original critical conclusions beyond summary of already published research. 

Cover sheet guidelines

All manuscript entries must be accompanied by a cover sheet with title and category. Do not include author’s name or institution on cover sheet.

 Sample cover sheet


List one of the following category types:

  1. Poetry 
  2. Short fiction 
  3. Nonfiction prose 
  4. Scholarly research