Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition

The Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Congratulations to Molly McDaniel, from Alta, Iowa!

First Prize:  $30,000 Creative Writing Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school (2013-14 school year) and publication in the 2014 Interlochen Review.

Eligibility:  Any student in grades 8–11 during the 2012–13 academic year.

Entry Deadline:   December 15, 2012 at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time.  There is no entry fee.

*In addition to the scholarship, contest-winners may be eligible for additional need-based financial aid.

Submission Guidelines

1)  The contest is open to students who are in grades 8–11 during the 2012–13 academic year.

2)  Students must submit both poetry and prose pieces.

  • Poetry: 3-5 poems.
  • Prose: a short story or personal essay, or a combination of the two, totaling fewer than 5,000 words. No news articles.

3)  Save all poetry submissions in a PDF file titled "Poetry" and all prose submissions in a PDF file titled "Prose." To preserve the anonymity of entries, please do not include your name within the document or the file name.

4)  Complete the entry form and submit your Poetry and Prose pieces online at: submission form is now closed

5)  Submissions will be accepted from October 15 to December 15, 2012, 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

6)  As many as 25 finalists will be asked to complete an application to Interlochen Arts Academy. This must be done before selecting a winner to ensure that the finalists are qualified for admission to the Arts Academy. The first prize scholarship will cover much of the tuition cost but not the entire amount. The winner and recipient of the scholarship may still be considered for additional need-based financial aid in addition to the scholarship. Participants who are concerned about meeting the full cost of attendance at the Academy are encouraged to formally apply for financial aid. The application deadline for finalists is February 15, 2013. Click here to begin the application for admission.

7)  Winner will be announced no later than March 15, 2013.

8)  If submissions do not meet the standards set by the judges, Interlochen Center for the Arts reserves the right to designate no first prize winner and award no scholarship.  

9)  Students currently enrolled at Interlochen Arts Academy are ineligible for this contest.

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Past Recipients

2013: Molly McDaniel of Alta, Iowa.

2011: Brittany Newell of Belvedere, California. Read Brittany's short story "Bad Kids," which was featured in the 2011-12 Interlochen Review.

2009: Ava Ambrose Tomasula y Garcia of South Bend, Indiana.

2007: Sara Steinhouse attends Brandeis University where she is double majoring in International and Global Studies and Sociology. She is also working on a minor in Creative Writing.

2005: Phoebe Rusch is currently a student at Princeton University studying International Relations. In her senior year she was one of only twenty high school students to be named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her plays were performed and received critical acclaim in Washington D.C.

2001: Rocio Anica graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She is currently living in Los Angeles, Calif.

Other winners include Sarah Resnick (2003)