University of Southern Indiana

Awards & Contests

Patricia Aakhus Award

Selected by SIR editors and the USI Department of English, this award goes to the best work across all genres appearing in a given year.  

The 2019 Award was given to April Sopkin.


Mary C. Mohr Awards

Every year, SIR awards three prizes of $2,000 and publication for works of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. All entries are considered for publication. 

2019 Results

Nickolas Butler selected Lara Palmqvist’s “Corpse Flower” as the fiction winner.

José Olivarez selected Em Dial's “& the white girl tells me i need to marry a Latino man so that my kids can be the world” as the poetry winner.

Sarah Perry selected Courtney Kersten’s “The Ergonomics of Loss” as the nonfiction winner.


Michael Waters Poetry Prize

A prize of $4,000 and publication by SIR Press is awarded annually for a collection of poetry written in English. All entries are considered for publication.

Next deadline: February 3, 2020.

Michael Waters selected Julia Koets's Pine for the 2019 Prize. 


Thomas A. Wilhelmus Short Prose Award

SIR editors selected J. A. Bernstein's Desert Castles for the 2017 Award. 

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