The ADROIT PRIZES for Poetry and Prose

The Adroit Prizes are awarded annually to two students of secondary or undergraduate status whose written work inspires the masses to believe. In other words, we strive to receive the absolute best work from emerging young writers in high school and college, and the best of the best will be recognized by the Adroit Prizes.

The 2018 Adroit Prize for Poetry was selected by Alex Dimitrov, acclaimed author of Together and By Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) and previous editor of the Academy of American Poets' popular online series Poem-a-Day. The 2018 Adroit Prize for Prose was selected by Rachel Heng, author of Suicide Club (forthcoming from Henry Holt, Macmillian (US) and Sceptre, Hachette (UK)).

Both Alex and Rachel have previously appeared in the Adroit Journal. Click here or here to read Alex's work, and click here to read Rachel's work. Scroll on for this year's results.

Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths (left) and Andrew Bennett (right).

Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths (left) and Andrew Bennett (right).

Presenting The Winners of the 2018 Adroit Prizes

Poetry: Theis Anderson | University of Cambridge (UK), '19 | selected by Alex Dimitrov.
      Runner Up: Lauren Sanderson | Colgate University, '18 

Prose: Polina Solovyeva | New York University, '20 | selected by Rachel Heng.
Runner Up: Sarah Feng | Pinewood School, '20

Matilda Berke | Poetry | Wellesley College, '21
Julia Bohm | Fiction | Interlochen Arts Academy, '18
Andre Bouyssounouse | Fiction | University of California - Santa Barbara, '21
Becca Lambright | Nonfiction | University of Pennsylvania, '20
Kalvin Marquiz | Poetry | Baton Rouge Magnet High School, '18
Katherine Pyne-Jaeger | Poetry | Cornell University, '20
Jeddie Sophronius | Poetry | Western Michigan University, '18
Nikki Velletri | Poetry | Mount Saint Charles Academy, '19

Ellie Black | Poetry | Hendrix College, '18
Allison Boyce | Fiction | Vanderbilt University, '20
Bronwen Brenner | Fiction | Baruch College Campus High School, '19
Stephanie Chang | Poetry | Richmond Christian Secondary School, '20
Imani Davis | Poetry | University of Pennsylvania, '20
Amanda Hodes | Poetry | American University, '19
Sabine Holzman | Poetry | Orange County School of the Arts, ‘18
Max Hunt | Fiction | Northpoint Christian School, '18
Seth Kirby | Fiction | Interlochen Arts Academy, '20
Maggie O'Brien | Fiction | Colorado College, '19
Selina Wang | Poetry | Simon Fraser University, '19
Lily Zhou | Poetry | Aragon High School, '18

On Theis Anderson's "Three Fields to Leave You", Alex writes, "I chose this poem because of its brave and at times disorienting jumps and departures. There is a logic of illogic within it. You can feel the mind moving. It is constantly at work. For me, a poem can accomplish many things but I am most impressed when it surprises, when it’s not being didactic or polemical, when I am unsure how to feel. This poem surprised me. It is its own world."

On Polina Solovyeva's "Bug Murder", Rachel writes, "I read ‘Bug Murder’ in one compulsive gulp, finished it, immediately went back to the beginning and read it again. Where to start with why I love it so? The obvious thing, the thing that lures you in, is the crackling prose, the way it hums with electricity, does exuberant backflips yet still zips along with a blazing, clear-eyed determination. Then there are the objects that populate the story, the minutiae of daily life that become heartbreaking characters in themselves: plates, a trash can, banana peels, Tommy the one-winged bug. Did I already say it's heartbreaking? Because your heart will be broken, for beneath the whip smart, darkly humorous stylings runs a vein of deep humanity, yearning and sadness. The story being told is an old one—how to let go of someone we love—and yet the telling is as startling and new as can possibly be."

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Submission Guidelines


Submissions for the 2018 Adroit Prizes are now CLOSED.

All secondary and undergraduate students are eligible, including international students and students who have graduated a semester early (in this case, in December 2017). Submissions may include up to six poems (maximum of ten pages single-spaced) and/or up to three works of prose (combined word limit of 3,500 words). Excerpts of longer works are acceptable.

Simultaneous submissions—as well as submissions that have been recognized by other organizations and/or featured in campus-wide publications—are accepted, provided that simultaneously submitted work is acknowledged as such in the cover letter portion of the submission. Submitters should reach out promptly via email ( if work under consideration is accepted elsewhere.

All submissions will be considered for publication in the Adroit Journal. Each submitter may send a maximum of one submission per genre per year, but may send both poetry and prose in a given year.

Winners will each be awarded $200, and their work—along with the work of runners-up—will be featured in The Adroit Journal. Runners-up and finalists will receive a copy of their judges' latest book. Click here to access our information booklet about previous winners.

To accommodate this while offering free online issues, we have set a non-refundable submission fee of $12. If you require financial assistance, you may submit a fee waiver by downloading this form and following the instructions. Due to fee waivers' processing time, fee waivers were only accepted until April 12th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Please direct any questions to 

Recent Winners

2017 —

Poetry: Safwan Khatib | Columbia University, '19 | selected by Safiya Sinclair.
      Runner Up: Christina Im | Sunset High School, '18 

Prose: Charity Young | Princeton University, '20 | selected by Allegra Hyde.
Runner Up: Aidan Forster | SC Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, '18

Olivia Alger | Fiction | Interlochen Arts Academy, '17
Aidan Forster | Poetry | SC Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, '18
Julia Gourary | Fiction | The Nightingale-Bamford School, '17
Adam Hamze | Poetry | University of Texas - Austin, '17
Angelo Hernandez-Sias | Fiction | Columbia University, '20
Alisha Yi | Poetry | Edward W. Clark High School, '18
Zuyi Zhao | Poetry | The Benjamin School, '17
Joyce Zhou | Poetry | Neuqua Valley High School, '18
Lily Zhou | Poetry | Aragon High School, '18

Colin Bailes | Poetry | University of Central Florida, ‘17
Michelle Chen | Nonfiction | Hunter College High School, ‘17
Annabelle Crowe | Poetry | Homeschool, ‘17
Reuben Gelley Newman | Poetry | The Dalton School, ‘17
torrin a. greathouse | Poetry | University of California - Irvine, ‘18
Jacqueline He | Poetry | The Harker School, ‘18
Noor Hindi | Poetry | University of Akron, ‘17
Savannah Horton | Fiction | Bowdoin College, ‘17
Cassandra Hsiao | Poetry | Orange County School of the Arts, ‘17
Eileen Huang | Poetry | High Technology High School, ‘18
Diana Khong | Fiction | Burncoat High School, ‘18
Enshia Li | Fiction | Bayview Secondary School, ‘18
Alison Liu | Fiction | Rice University, ‘18
Anika Prakash | Poetry | West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, ‘19
Ashira Shirali | Fiction | The Shri Ram School - Aravali, ‘18
Andy Sia | Poetry | Colgate University, ‘17
Irina Teveleva | Poetry | Columbia University, ‘17
Brad Trumpfheller | Poetry | Emerson College, ‘18
Rona Wang | Fiction | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘20
Kirstin Wu Latimer | Poetry | University of Oxford, ‘18


2016 —

Poetry: Rachel Cruea: "The Yellow Marrow Doesn't Matter," selected by Corey Van Landingham.
      Runner Up: Theophilus Kwek: Three Poems

Prose: Brynne Rebele-Henry: "from The Glass House," selected by Kevin Moffett.
Runner Up: Walker Caplan: "Elephants"

Honorable Mentions:
Christina Im | Poetry | Sunset High School, '18
Jessica Li | Fiction | Livingston High School, '16
Polina Solovyeva | Fiction | The Hotchkiss School, '16
Scott Stevens | Poetry | Menlo School, '16
Sophie van Waardenberg | Fiction | University of Auckland, '18
Christian Wessels | Poetry | State University of New York at Brockport, '16

Editors' List:
Adam Berman | Fiction | Princeton University, '18
Morgan Blalock | Poetry | Hollins University, '16
Maddie Clevenstine | Poetry | SC Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, '16
Helli Fang | Poetry | Walnut Hill School for the Arts, '16
Aidan Forster | Poetry | Fine Arts Center, '18
Mitchell Glazier | Poetry | West Virginia University, '17
Ashley Gong | Poetry | Newtown High School, '16
Alex Greenberg | Poetry | Ethical Culture Fieldston School, '17
Jaclyn Grimm | Fiction | Lake Highland Preparatory School, '17
Kathryn Hargett | Poetry | Alabama School of Fine Arts, '17
Michal Leibowitz | Poetry | Stanford University, '19
Elizabeth Lemieux | Fiction | Interlochen Arts Academy, '17
Alison Liu | Fiction | Rice University, '18
A. E. Long | Poetry | LaSwap Sixth Form, '16
Annalise Lozier | Poetry | Interlochen Arts Academy, '17
George Lubitz | Fiction | Skidmore College, '17
Grant McClure | Nonfiction | Wofford College, '19
Meg Millure | Poetry | University of Pittsburgh, '18
Alexa Perlmutter | Fiction | National Cathedral School, '17
Kathleen Radigan | Poetry | Wesleyan University, '17
Ben Read | Poetry | Lewis and Clark High School, '17
Brynne Rebele-Henry | Poetry | Homeschool, '17
Max Seifert | Poetry | University of Iowa, '16
Anna Sheppard | Poetry | SC Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, '16
Serena Solin | Poetry | Columbia University, '16
Erin Stoodley | Poetry | El Camino High School at Ventura College, '16
Christina Sun | Fiction | University of Massachusetts - Amherst, '16
Smriti Verma | Poetry | Apeejay School, '16
Rona Wang | Nonfiction | Lincoln High School, '16
Charity Young | Fiction | Union High School, '16
Alex Zhang | Poetry | Phillips Exeter Academy, '16
Emily Zhang | Poetry | Richard Montgomery High School, '16


2015 —

Poetry: Ian Burnette: "dear radio," selected by Tarfia Faizullah.
      Runner Up: Brynne Rebele-Henry: "Purple"

Prose: Lydia Weintraub: "Feelies," selected by Alexander Maksik.
Runner Up: John Stegner: "Cleansing"

Honorable Mentions:
Mariel Alonzo | Poetry | University of the Philippines - Diliman, '16
Sara Henry | Poetry | University of Chicago, '15
Christina Qiu | Prose | Harvard University, '19
Maia Rosenfeld | Prose | Brown University, '19
Emily Zhang | Poetry | Richard Montgomery High School, '16

Editors' List:
Rachael Allen | Prose | Bowdoin College, '18
Mehul Bhagat | Poetry | Emory University, '18
Nathan Blansett | Poetry | Emory University, '19
Catherine Brams | Poetry | Middlebury College, '18
Walker Caplan | Prose | Lakeside School, '16
Lev Craig | Poetry | Harvard University, '16
Cu Fleshman | Prose | University of California - Irvine, '18
Mitchell Glazier | Poetry | West Virginia University, '17
Ava Goga | Poetry | Robert McQueen High School, '16
Safwan Khatib | Poetry | Columbia University, '19
Erin Koehler | Poetry | State University of New York - Geneseo, '15
Jessica Li | Prose | Livingston High School, '16
Annalise Lozier | Poetry | Interlochen Arts Academy, '17
Blaike Marshall | Poetry | College of Charleston, '17
Grant McClure | Poetry | Wofford College, '19
Jared Newman | Prose | Yale University, '19
Lucy Silbaugh | Prose | Abington Friends School, '16
Jeremy Windham | Poetry | Stephen F. Austin State University, '15


2014 —

Poetry: Nathan Durham: "Chevrolet," selected by Richie Hofmann.
      Runner Up: Ian Burnette: "Harvests"
      Honorable Mention: Emily Knott: "Elegy Broadcast from the Top of a Radio Tower"
      Honorable Mention: Oriana Tang: "Chinese New Year"
      Honorable Mention: Maddie Kim: "Mothers in July"

Prose: Isabel DeBre: "Digging," selected by Wendy Rawlings.
Runner Up: Madeleine Cravens: "Girls and Boys: Growing Up in Four Parts"
      Honorable Mention: Dalton Fischer-Linnett: "When Dutch Klaas was Fearless"
      Honorable Mention: Frances Saux: "Difficult"
      Honorable Mention: Catherine Mosier-Mills: "The Practical Applications of Calculus"

Editors' List:
Camara Brown | Poetry | University of Pennsylvania, '17
Alicia Lai | Poetry | Princeton University, '18
Cheryl Julia Lee | Poetry | Nanyang Technological University, '14
Emma Lister | Poetry | Colyton Grammar School, '15
Kyle Michelson | Poetry | Stanford University, '15
Torn Porter | Prose | Stanford University, '16
Christina Qiu | Prose | Livingston High School, '15
AM Ringwalt | Prose | Emerson College, '17
Lucy Wainger | Poetry | Stuyvesant High School, '16
Megan Walters | Prose | Interlochen Arts Academy, '15
Jay G. Ying | Poetry | University of Edinburgh '16


2013 —

Poetry: Shelley Whitaker: "The Fox Den," selected by Garth Greenwell.
Runner Up: Rainie Oet: "Hookey"
      Honorable Mention: Emily Bernard: "My Father, the American Hero"
      Honorable Mention: Katherine Frain: "South Carolina"
      Honorable Mention: Da'Shawn Mosley: "Because You Expressed Desire, Once, to Be Here"

Prose: Elizabeth Martin: "Too Small Yet," selected by Marlin Barton.
Runner Up: Lily Fishman: "The Beach"
      Honorable Mention: Emily Hittner-Cunningham: "After Looking-Glass"
      Honorable Mention: Eric Stiefel: "Ronald Reagan Walks Again"
      Honorable Mention: Ashley Zhou: "A Man of Convenience"

Editors' List:
Yasmin Belkhyr | Poetry | The Garden School, '14
Kathleen Cole | Prose | University of Chicago, '17
Caleb Kaiser | Poetry | School of the Art Institute of Chicago, '16
Kayla Krut | Poetry | University of California - Berkeley, '13
Charles McCrory | Prose | University of Mississippi, '16
Christina Qiu | Prose | Livingston High School, '15
Kathleen Radigan | Poetry | Connecticut College, '17
Iris Samuels | Poetry | Israeli Defense Force
Rachel Stone | Poetry | Princeton University, '17
Lydia Weintraub | Prose | Saint Ann's School, '14
Victoria White | Poetry | Milton Academy, '14


2012 —

Poetry: Stephanie Guo: "Clear Tea," selected by Chloe Honum.
Runner Up: Nicholas Pierce: "After My Mother's Wedding"
      Honorable Mention: Michelle Jia: "Mrs. D"
      Honorable Mention: Jessie Li: "Pyrus Pyrifolia"
      Honorable Mention: Eliza Moley: "Barcelona"

Prose: Phoebe Nir: "Talia and Kate," selected by Kirk Nesset.
Runner Up: Flora Collins: "Debbie"
      Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Ballou: "Medicine Cabinet Confessional"
      Honorable Mention: Alina Grabowski: "The Great American Road Trip"
      Honorable Mention: Melissa Tolentino: "Reckless"

Editors' List:
Alexa Derman | Prose | Westfield High School, '14
Amy Gopinathan | Poetry | Princeton University, '14
Sara Kassel | Prose | Philadelphia University, '14
Caroline Kelley | Poetry | Wellesley College, '16
Katy Li | Poetry | Coppell High School, '14
Molly McGinnis | Poetry | Boise High School, '13
Rick Manayan | Poetry | Punahou School, '13
Sienna Zeilinger | Prose | Brown University, '15
Tina Zhu | Prose | Shanghai American School, '13