Meringoff Writing Awards

The Meringoff Writing Awards have deadlines of February 1, 2021. Everyone who enters the Meringoff Writing Awards competition must be a member of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member. Membership information is available on the ALSCW website ( Only previously unpublished submissions are accepted; if a submission is accepted by another journal, please inform us immediately by e-mailing

Meringoff Writing Awards (February 1st deadline)

An incursion into the oppressor’s mind that led to writing a novel-in-verse

Carmen Bugan discusses working with Cold War surveillance family archives and the process of creating literary characters from secret police transcripts, in order to understand the narrative of oppression. In the course of locating an appropriate form which could transform historical documents and personal experience into literature, deeper questions about what constitutes literary language surfaced, both as challenges and solutions to understanding the language we use when addressing historical trauma.Click here to read.

ALSCW Zoom Series: American Classics, American Crisis

We are delighted to invite you to the first installment of the ALSCW’s fall Zoom series. We are deeply grateful to our participants and to all of you for your support of the ALSCW (information on memberships and renewals can be found at  The panelists will take questions from the audience during the last twenty minutes of our session.  Please join our Zoom seminar through this link: Zoom Seminar Link (Click Here)

September 9th, 6 pm to 7:15 pm EST: “American Classics, American Crisis”

ALSCW Fall Zoom Series

We are delighted to announce the ALSCW’s fall Zoom series. As many of you know, the 25th annual conference of the ALSCW, which was scheduled at Yale University in October, was canceled because of the pandemic.  Our Zoom series in the fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021 will help to keep our membership connected and to advance our organization’s mission to advance the study and creation of literature.  We are deeply grateful to our participants—it’s an incredibly talented lineup—and to all of you for your support of the ALSCW (information on memberships and renewals can be found at  We will send out a link a week to ten days before each event.

2020 ALSCW Annual Conference Postponed

We have discussed the 2020 annual conference, scheduled at Yale University from October 22-25, with the ALSCW Executive Committee and the Conference Committee, and regret to announce that we are postponing it for a year. We have asked the session leaders for the Yale conference if they could commit to October of 2021, and are pleased and grateful that many already have responded affirmatively. If you have submitted a proposal for the conference, we will keep it on hand for 2021. We plan to circulate the Call for Papers for the 2021 annual conference in early February, and hope to see you in New Haven in October of 2021 (the precise dates TBA).

Winners of the 2019 ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards!

Poetry: George David Clark, ‘Song of the Genie,’ ‘The Latch,’ and ‘Northern Lake”; Katie Peterson, “The Web”

George David Clark’s Reveille received the 2015 Miller Williams Prize and his recent poems can be found in AGNIThe Georgia ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewEcotonePoetry NorthwestThe Southern Review, and elsewhere. His work has won awards from such journals as Southern Poetry ReviewNarrative Magazine, and Pleiades, and his honors include the Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Lily Postdoctoral Fellowship from Valparaiso University, and the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship from Colgate University. The editor of 32 Poems, he teaches creative writing at Washington & Jefferson College and lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and their four young children.

ALSCW Call for Papers Update

Dear ALSCW members and friends,

We have had requests for more time to think about responses to the call for papers at the October conference at Yale University from October 22-25. In view of these, and given the unique pressures under which we’re all now working, we are postponing the deadline for proposed seminar papers to July 1.

Please know that we are moving forward with plans for October, and will continue to accept submissions, but there is serious uncertainty at this time about the likely duration of the mitigation and containment measures that universities, like all other responsible institutions, have been putting in place; and it seems possible that the pandemic will affect the planned dates for the 2020 conference. We will let you know as soon as we have any information about this.

ALSCW DC: Mark Edmundson Lecture

ALSCW Lecture
“Can Literary Study Be Saved?”
Mark Edmundson, University of Virginia
March 25th, 2020
University of Maryland, College Park
2115 Tawes Hall, 3:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Mark Edmundson Is University Professor at the University of Virginia and the author of a dozen books, including Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals and The Heart of the Humanities: Reading, Writing Teaching. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Literary Imagination, Raritan, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The American Scholar, The American Scholar, Yale Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other venues. The National Endowment of the Humanities has honored him as a Distinguished Teaching Professor.

2019 Meringoff Writing Awards

The Meringoff Writing Awards have deadlines of January 15th, with the exception of the high school award, which has May 15th deadline. Everyone who enters the Meringoff Writing Awards competition must be a member of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member, with the exception of the high school award, which is open to any high school student. Membership information is available on the ALSCW website (

Meringoff Writing Awards (January 15th deadline)