The SLCC Community Writing Center is part of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative (GSLC), a Solutions Journalism collaborative of well more than a dozen Utah organizations working together to share stories about Great Salt Lake and ways to protect our city’s dying namesake. For 2024, we are proud to announce a call for submissions for the "Lake as Legacy/Lake as Future" Community Anthology 2024. 

We're especially interested in speculative fiction--written, visual, multimedia, performance--that responds to the themes of "lake as legacy" and/or "lake as future." 

What is speculative fiction? There are debates about what this super genre encompasses. For the purposes of the 2024 Great Salt Lake Community Anthology, "speculative fiction" is an umbrella genre in which writers/creators speculate on big the "what if?" question about the past, present, and future. Speculative fiction includes science fiction, climate fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, utopian, and other forms of storytelling centered on that "what if?" question in ways that blend and blur reality with the not-yet-possible or with the entirely fantastical. 

We will consider submissions outside of speculative fiction as long as they directly and meaningfully respond to the "lake as legacy" and "lake as future" themes. 

Text-based submissions over 3,000 words that are accepted will be excerpted for the print edition. The entirety of the work will be published online. 

This call is open to any writer, photographer, performing artist, and visual artist ages 15 and older. 

NOTE: editors and designers will make small edits for clarity and design consistency. 

Submission must be submitted via Submittable no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2024.

A "Lake as Legacy/Lake as Future" Reading Gala will be held in the late summer/early fall. Contributors to the anthology will be given a print edition of the anthology and an opportunity to read from their work at the gala. More details will be shared in June. 

Since 1958, the annual Utah Original Writing Competition has celebrated Utah’s dynamic and varied voices and aided Utah writers on their path to publication and broader recognition. Numerous awardees selected by our nationally recognized judges have gone on to significant statewide and national acclaim. Please read through the entire guidelines before submitting.

Deadline: June 30, 2024 @11:59 p.m.

Late manuscripts will not be accepted.

Please submit early to avoid technical issues. Submissions will only be accepted online via Submittable.

Questions? Contact the SLCC Community Writing Center via email


  • May 1, 2024: Submission period opens
  • June 30, 2024: Submissions due by 11:59 p.m. (MDT)
  • October 2024: Winners and press notified
  • November 2024: Awards presentation

Book-length Categories: Writers entering categories A through D cannot have a book published (either traditionally published or self-published) or accepted for publication in the category they enter. However, authors can have a book published or accepted for publication in a category other than the one they wish to enter. Example: Jane Doe has had a novel published, but not a nonfiction book. She cannot enter in the Novel category, but she can enter in the Creative Nonfiction Book category.

Previous Publication: Acknowledgment of previously published work or previous performance in competitions should NOT be included on your manuscript. However, in categories A-D, if portions of the work have been published, as permitted (see details for each category), indicate so when asked on the online application form.

Residency and Age Requirement: Submitters must have a 70% physical presence in Utah AND be a legal Utah resident for one year prior to submission and at time of submission. You must be age 18 or older to enter.

Entry Fees: None.

Limits on Entries: Writers are allowed to enter more than one category; however, only one entry per category per contestant is allowed. A manuscript cannot be entered in more than one category. Portions of a larger manuscript submitted in one category cannot be submitted in a second category. First- and second-prize winners in each category are not eligible to enter that category the next year. In the case of alternating categories, first- and second-prize winners cannot enter the exact category they placed in until at least one round of competition in that category has taken place.

Judges’ Decisions Are Final: Judges have sole and final authority in evaluation of manuscripts. If, in the opinion of the judge, no manuscript entered in a category is of sufficient quality to merit an award, none will be given. The judges are not identified until after the winners have been announced. Judges’ comments will be provided for first prize, second prize, and honorable mention only. Under no circumstances should a contestant contact a judge directly. A contestant who does contact a judge may be disqualified. Honorable mentions offer no cash award.

Winning Manuscripts to Remain on File: The manuscripts of the first- and second-prize winners in each category must remain on file with Utah Arts & Museums as part of its permanent collection. In the event a winning entry is later published, UA&M and CWC ask that you provide each agency a signed copy of the work.

Rights: Authors of winning entries retain all rights of publication.

Disqualification: Failure to follow these guidelines may result in disqualification.

Submission Specifications:

  • The judging is done anonymously. Do not include your name anywhere on your manuscript(s).
  • Include the title or an abbreviation of the title on the bottom, right-hand corner of each page.
  • Do not include acknowledgments or dedications in the manuscript(s).
  • In general, manuscripts should use 12-point font and be double-spaced. Exceptions can be made for stylistic or narrative purposes.
  • Use the exact same title for your manuscript throughout the application process, including on the manuscript, in the document file name, and on the application form itself.
  • Pseudonyms may not be used. Legal names, spelled consistently throughout, must be used to submit to the competition.

For Categories A-D, no part of the manuscript can be published in book form or have been accepted for publication as a book at the time of entry. Work from the submission that has been excerpted on the web, in journals, or in an anthology is acceptable. A-D are first-book categories.

First prize (Categories A-D): $1500 Second prize (Categories A-D): $750

Category A: Novel
Fiction for adults; minimum length: 50,000 words

Category B: Creative Nonfiction Book
Creative nonfiction, including personal essay collections, memoir, narrative nonfiction, biographies, autobiographies, and histories; minimum length: 50,000 words

First prize for Category B includes first option for publication by the University of Utah Press.

Category C: Book-length Collection of Short Stories
Minimum length: 50 pages
This category alternates each year with Book-length Collection of Poetry

Category D: Young Adult Book  
Fiction or nonfiction (general or biography), appealing to readers ages 12 through 18.
Compilations of stories will be accepted. Maximum/Minimum length: none
This category alternates each year with Children's Book.

For categories E-G, no part of the collection can be published in any form, except on the web, or have been accepted for publication at the time of entry.

First prize (Categories E-G): $450 Second prize (Categories E-G): $250

Category E: Poetry
A short collection of up to 10 poems for adults; maximum length: 1,000 lines (total)

Category F: Short Story
Fiction for adults; maximum length: 7,500 words

Category G: Creative Nonfiction Essay
Creative nonfiction for adults, including personal essay and memoir; maximum length: 7,500 words

SLCC Community Writing Center