Every spring the UMSL MFA program recognizes distinguished student work by awarding the MFA Prize in Poetry and the MFA Prize in Fiction. During the years we offer a MFA Creative Non-fiction Workshop, we also award an MFA Prize in Creative Non-Fiction. Nominations for the prose competition are made by teachers of that year's workshops in fiction and creative non-fiction. The poetry competition is open to all MFA students who have taken a poetry workshop in the preceding year; the call for poetry submissions occurs early in the spring semester. The judging is blind. The judges for these awards are well-regarded and well-published fiction writers, journalists and poets, most of whom reside in other parts of the country. The award results are announced in late March. The winners receive $100 and are honored at the annual English alumni party in the spring.
Recent winners are listed below.
2014 Prize Winners
Fiction: Ryan Krull, Preparedness
runner-up: Rafal Redlinski, Pop Psychology
Poetry: Matthew Freeman, The Procovery Sequence
runner-up: Kasey Perkins, Those Who Breathe Once, and Never Stop
2013 Prize Winners
Fiction: Lauren Wiser, Sleeping With Insects
runner-up: Tina Shen, Pandora's Box
Poetry: Ryan Smith, Your Hunger Sure and Safe
2012 Prize Winners
Poetry: Ryan Smith, Shadow Taxidermy
runner-up: Adam Hayward, Blood orange
Fiction: Lindsay Shadwell, The Guest
Creative Non-fiction: Scott Morgan, Double-Shift
runner-up: Katherine Mitchell, Watermark
2011 Prize Winners
Poetry: Amanda Wynn won the James Russell Grant Memorial prize in poetry; Raymond Holmes and Kelli Allen were both runner-up.
Fiction: Lindsay Shadwell won the graduate prize in fiction; Anna Eggemeyer was
2010 Prize Winners
Poetry: Joe Betz won the James Russell Grant Memorial prize in poetry; Raymond Holmes was the runner-up.
Fiction: Eric Primm won the graduate prize in fiction.
2009 Prize Winners
Poetry: Tim Leach won the James Russell Grant poetry award given to an MFA student (the first time this award has been presented).
Fiction: Julianne Bartlett and Rebecca Brown-Gregory tied for first place.
Creative Nonfiction: Winner, Leeli Davidson, and Amanda Wynn, runner-up.
2008 Prize Winners
Poetry: O. Ayes (winner); Andrew Pryor and Capuchina Taylor (runners-up)
Fiction: Inda Schaenen and Angela Mitchell-Phillips (co-winners)
2007 Prize Winners
Poetry: Jaime Wood (winner)
Fiction: Inda Schaenen (winner)
2006 Prize Winners
Poetry: Robert Lowes (winner)
Fiction: Susan LaBrier (winner)
Essay: Seth Raab (winner)
2005 Prize Winners
Poetry: Robert Lowes (winner); Nancy Powers (runner-up)
Fiction: Marie Goyette (winner)
Essay: Rebecca Pastor (winner)
2004 Prize Winners
Poetry: Eve Jones (winner); Brian Lindsey (runner-up)
Fiction: Reggie Poche (winner); Patti Smith Jackson (runner-up)
Essay: Colleen McKee (winner)
2003 Prize Winners
Poetry: Colleen McKee (winner)
Fiction: Trysh Brown (winner)
2002 Prize Winners
Poetry: Allison Creighton (winner); John Ryan, Amy Debrecht (runners-up)
Prose: Jim Mense (winner); Jim Morice (runner-up)
2001 Prize Winners
Poetry: Amy Branch (winner), Melissa Gurley Bancks (runner-up)
Prose: Frank Watson
2000 Prize Winners
Poetry: Matthew Schmeer
Prose: Angela Hamilton
1999 Prize Winners
Poetry: Amy Debrecht (winner), Elaine Dempsey (runner-up)
Prose: Janet Goddard
1998 Prize Winners
Poetry: Tamara Myers
Prose: C.B. Adams, Linda Wendling (co-winners)