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Guidelines for the Karmel Writing Prizes

  • All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the date of the deadline (Monday, April 10, 2023).
  • Eligibility for each prize can be found in the prize descriptions. For example, some are open only to MIT undergraduates and others only to MIT graduate students.
  • NO single entry may be submitted in more than one competition (e.g., no part of a Boit Manuscript Prize entry will be eligible for any other competition).*
  • An individual may submit only one entry per prize.
  • If a particular prize has multiple categories, an individual may submit one (but only one) entry per category.
  • Students who graduate at the end of the fall semester can participate in any of the competitions for which they are eligible, provided their entries have been completed and submitted prior to graduation.
  • Co-authored entries are eligible. Complete information on each author needs to be provided at the time of submission.
  • Works originally written to satisfy course requirements are eligible, as are self-contained extracts from undergraduate theses, presented in a form which could be suitable for publication, for example as a journal article.
  • Works that have been previously published in any form or accepted for publication are not eligible.
  • No member of the teaching staff may be thanked or named anywhere in the entry except as the author of a cited publication.

*This detail was accidentally omitted from the 2023 guidelines after a website update, but it still was in effect. Apologies to those who took the time to submit the same piece to multiple prizes.


  • Each entry must be submitted using the online form provided.
  • IMPORTANT: The student’s name must NOT appear on ANY page of the submission. This is to ensure the author’s anonymity.
  • A header or footer stating the title of the work and the page number is required on each page of the submission. In the case of poetry submissions, the collection as a whole should have a title as part of the header or footer.
  • All entries must be typed using a 12 point font and proofread. All prose entries are to be double-spaced with wide margins (1 inch minimum). Poems may be single- or double-spaced.

Administrative Notes

  • Copyright remains with the author.
  • Questions concerning the requirements for entries in any of the competitions (except for the Obermayer and Vera List Prizes) should be directed to Shariann Lewitt (slewitt@mit.edu) in Comparative Media Studies/Writing. Questions about the Obermayer prizes should be directed to Prof. Thomas Levenson (levenson@mit.edu), and questions concerning the Vera List Prize for Writing on the Visual Arts should be directed to Emily Garner (eagarner@mit.edu) in the List Visual Arts Center.
  •  In the absence of outstanding entries in a particular category, no award will be made.