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. 

2016 Prize Winners

     Fiction: Dusty Freund, Touch

     Runner up: Myrta Vida, Frida's Daughter 

     Poetry: Victoria Walls

     Runner up: Sarah Pitt

2015 Prize Winners

     Poetry: Stacey Walker, And That's How The Story Goes

     Runner up: Victoria Walls, Woman Engulfed

     Fiction: John Fournie, Antimony

     Runner up: Matt Vivian, Acapulco County

 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

      runner-up: Matthew Freeman, Five Poems of Restoration  


 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
 the runner-up. 

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)