Created by English alumnus Dick Shahan in 2014, the writing competition gives all CU Boulder undergraduate students a chance to use their imaginations and demonstrate their writing skills in a variety of genres, as well as to celebrate the larger Boulder community. The competition is expected to generate an annual prize of $1000 for the winning entry within one of two categories—fiction or non-fiction prose. Categories will alternate each year. Applications in odd numbered years are fiction, even numbered years are non-fiction. Every entry must have a connection to Boulder.


The scholarship winner will be notified once the decision has been made. The scholarship recipient will be expected to write a note of thanks to the donor, as well as a short paragraph about interests, classes and activities, one semester after receiving the award.


  • The competition is open to all current undergraduate students (whether part-time or full-time) enrolled at the CU Boulder campus.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled on the Boulder campus.
  • The focus of the Dick Shahan CU Boulder Undergraduate Writing Competition is Boulder, Colorado itself. All entries must therefore take place in or be in some way about Boulder, addressing Boulder’s particular qualities, history, population, or landscape.
  • You may submit a piece you wrote in the past.

Submission Requirements

  • Submit between 12 and 20 pages (typed, double-spaced).
  • Insert a header that includes the name of the award, your first initial and last name in the upper right corner of each page (e.g. J. Doe, Shahan CW Competition).
  • Insert page numbers (e.g. page 1 of 5) in the lower right corner of each page.
  • Save document as PDF titled: YourLastName_ShahanCW