High School Literary Contest

Come write with the pros. Read poems, short stories, novels and essays with some of today’s leading writers. Join a workshop for feedback on your own work. Have fun with words! Submit your entry!

Who Can Enter

All current high school students are encouraged to participate.

What to Submit

Send your best poetry or fiction writing for consideration. Entries are limited to five pages per student. 

How to Submit

Mailing materials to:
Millikin University English Department
1184 W. Main St. Decatur, IL 62522

Who Will Judge

All entries will be reviewed by Millikin University English faculty.


  • 1st- $1,000 Millikin University Scholarship
  • 2nd- $750 Millikin University Scholarship
  • 3rd- $500 Millikin University Scholarship

Deadline November 15, 2020

English Reading Series

Join Millikin’s English Department as they host virtual readings by esteemed visiting writers, demonstrating the power of words across genres, from personal narrative to poetry, and from professional journalism to hip hop. Find links to the series events on our Facebook page.

October 15 | 7:30 p.m.

A.D. Carson
Professor of Hip Hop
Millikin Alum

October 26 | 6 p.m.

Reid Forgrave
Professional Journalist and Author

November 12 | 7:30 p.m.

Nils Michals


A.D. Carson 

A.D. Carson

Carson is an award-winning artist with essays, music, and poetry published at a variety of diverse venues such as The Guardian, Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program, and Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, among others. Carson has written a novel, COLD, which hybridizes poetry, rap lyrics, and prose, and The City: [un]poems, thoughts, rhymes & miscellany, a collection of poems, short stories, and essays. Carson is currently assistant professor in Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia.


Reid Forgrave 

Reid Forgrave

Reid Forgrave’s recently published book, Love, Zac, is the story of the life and death of a small-town football player and the larger repercussions of traumatic brain injuries in one of America’s most-loved sports. Forgrave has written for GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones, among other publications. His specialty is long-form, narrative storytelling. He has covered college football and the NFL, as well as college and professional basketball and the Summer Olympics, for Fox Sports and CBS Sports, and he currently writes for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. The article in which he first wrote about Zac Easter is included in Best American Sports Writing 2018.


Nils Michals 

Nils Michals

This reading will launch Michals’ new poetry chapbook published by Millikin’s new student-run publishing company Sting & Honey Press.Michals is the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Gembox, won the 2018 Washington Prize from The Word Works. Previous collections include Come Down to Earth (Bauhan, 2014) and Lure (Pleiades, 2004). He teaches at West Valley College and lives in Santa Cruz, CA.