Chautauqua Literary Arts convenes readers and writers of all ages in community, conversation, intensive craft development, and exploratory learning opportunities. Visit our website for more information about our summer season and year-round resources. Those interested in submitting work to our literary journal, Chautauqua, should visit their Submittable page.


Friends of the Chautauqua Writers' Center, formerly known as Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends, is a volunteer organization associated with Chautauqua Institution that works year-round on behalf of the Writers' Center. During the nine-week summer season, the Friends provide opportunities for writers to present their work and meet other writers, organize writing contests and other special events, support scholarships for young adult writers, and lend support to the Writers' Center at Chautauqua.

FCWC weekly events include co-sponsorship of readings, receptions and book signings by the Writers' Center writers-in-residence ; open mic sessions; informal writing critiques; and Authors Hour readings.  FCWC also sponsors special events throughout the season, such as a Week One reception for anyone interested in the literary arts at Chautauqua; a Book Fair showcasing local authors; the nationally acclaimed Pinsky Favorite Poem Project reading; and writing contests for all ages.

FCWC works closely with Chautauqua’s Director of Literary Arts to support programs seeking to enhance the Chautauqua experience for all lovers of writing and literature.  We welcome new members to our friendly group and would encourage new members to get to know us by volunteering for one of our events.   Annual dues are $20 per person.  Benefits include FCWC newsletters, advance notice of upcoming Writers' Center workshops, workshop fee discounts for assistants; waived fees for writing contests, support of scholarships for aspiring young adult writers attending Chautauqua Writers' Center workshops for the first time; discount voucher for the latest volume of the literary journal Chautauqua.

Note:  Your name, address, and email will be automatically captured from your Submittable account information.

Please note that due to continued pandemic-related limits on programming on Chautauqua Institution grounds, some FCWC activities will occur virtually and others will be postponed until 2022 (details here).  The annual membership fee remains the same; surplus monies will be used to help support the young writers scholarship program.

Welcome to the 2022 Friends of the Chautauqua Writers' Center (FCWC) writing contests.
Please read complete contest information and rules below before submitting. 

The Chautauqua Literary Arts Contests are prose and poetry writing contests for all ages.  Anyone with a Chautauqua Institution gate pass of any duration for the 2022 Season, attended the 2022 Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, or purchased a 2021-22 off-season or 2022 summer season Chautauqua Institution writing workshop/master class, is invited to enter this year’s contests.  The contests are organized into three age categories:

Adult (18 and older)      Young Adult (13-17)     Youth (12 and under)

Fiction and creative nonfiction entries are welcome. Poets may submit up to three poems. Prose writers may submit one manuscript 2000 words or less. Prose fiction entries less than 500 words qualify as flash fiction.  Writers may submit in each applicable category once per season.


  1. Entries must be the original work of the applicant and not previously published.
  2. All entries must be titled.  Each work must be a separate file. Filenames must match titles.
  3. Prose entries must include the word count at top of the first page.
  4. Works must be unsigned and contain no identifying information in the work or in the filename.
  5. Works that received any award (including Honorable Mention) in any prior Chautauqua writing contest are not eligible for submission.
  6. For each category, the First Place winner from the preceding year must “sit out” that category for the current year’s contest.
  7. All submissions must be online via this Submittable form. Paper and email submissions will not be accepted. Each work must be submitted in an allowed file format (pdf, doc, docx, or txt). One to four files may be included with your application - see submission form for specific limits.
  8. Contest administrators reserve the right to reject entries that do not adhere to the above rules.


Winners and runners-up will be announced on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 2:30 pm in the Hall of Philosophy.  There will be non-cash and cash awards.  Special cash awards include: The $100 Mary Jean Irion Prize is presented for the poem winning first place in the Adult Category; The $100 Charles McCorkle Hauser Prize is awarded for the best Adult story, essay, memoir, or other example of strong, creative prose. In the Young Adult categories of Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Prose, $50 awards have been made available. The judges reserve the right not to award a prize in any category. First place winners will be considered for publication in the literary journal Chautauqua, at the discretion of its editors. Winners and runners-up in all categories will receive certificates.

How to apply

The submission period is Saturday, June 25, 2022 to the deadline Sunday, July 31, 2022.  Adult and Young Adult writers must complete a separate form for each category entered.  Youth writers need submit only one form for the combined Youth Prose and/or Poetry category.

Submission fees

The non-refundable submission fee is $5 per category. Payment can be made from the form via PayPal.

The submission fee is waived for paid-up FCWC members who submit using the members’ form; members will find a link to the members-only form in the spring FCWC newsletter. To join FCWC, click here.  If you recently joined FCWC but did not receive the spring newsletter, please contact FCWC at or Emily Carpenter at .

Chautauqua Literary Arts