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Creative Writing Awards

We offer several awards open only to Creative Writing majors and minors that recognize the achievements of our talented and capable students. These awards are administered by the Creative Writing faculty as a whole. Some of the awards are by submission, while others are selected by the faculty from among the Creative Writing student community. All recipients of the awards are honoured at an annual awards ceremony held at the York Keele campus.

Priscila Uppal profile photo

The Priscila Uppal Poetry Prize

Faculty members nominate students for this award

This prize will be awarded to a fourth-year student majoring or minoring in Creative Writing. Recipients must demonstrate talent and achievement in the area of poetry writing. Faculty members in the Creative Writing Program will nominate students, and a selection committee within the Creative Writing program will select the recipient each year.

Priscila Uppal (BA Hons. ’97, PhD ’04) was a poet, novelist and playwright, and one of York University’s most distinguished teachers and writers. She died on September 4, 2018 at the age of 43. Priscila’s friends and colleagues, led by York president emeritus Lorna Marsden, honour her memory through the establishment of this new prize.

2021-22 Winner - Ivy Derege-Braga


bpNichol Award

Faculty members nominate students for this award.

bpNichol’s death in September 1988, before his 44th birthday, was a tragedy for York University and the Canadian literary world. He was a winner of the Governor-General’s Award, a Fellow of Calumet College and taught with the Creative Writing program. He is remembered as a gentle, giving and humane man. This award, in the form of a book certificate, is presented to an exceptional undergraduate student writer for achievement in creating writing. To be eligible, students must be nominated each spring by an instructor in the Creative Writing program.

2022 | Matteo Cerilli

2021 | Laura Bourbonnais

2020 | Rachel Kearney; Jackson Donnelly

2019 | Alannah White

2018 | Alvin Wong

2017 | Jacob Morrow

2016 | Kaitlynn McCuaig

2015 | Emma Beckett

2014 | Joy Wong

2013 | Dylan Wagman


Babs Burggraf Award in Creative Writing

Faculty members nominate students for this award.

This award offers financial assistance to a fourth year student majoring in creative writing with proven talent and achievement in short story writing. Faculty members in the program will nominate fourth year students (successful completion of at least 84 credits) who have submitted short stories as part of their academic work for the session. The recipient must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person, an Ontario resident and demonstrate financial need.

2022 | Andrei Topala

2021 | Marlee John

2020 | Teya Hollier

2019 | Dylan Martin

2018 | Rebecca Mangra

2017 | Keara MacNeil

2016 | Steven Lee

2015 | Jennifer Hunt

2014 | Stephanie McKechnie

2013 | Josh Edgar


Adrienne Grago Memorial Prize for Short Fiction

Submission-based award.

The Adrienne Grago Memorial Prize for Short Fiction was established by Barbara Rasha Grago and Jennifer Hann in memory of Barbara's daughter Adrienne, who graduated from York University with an Honours BA in Creative Writing and English in 2007. This prize honours the best short story by a creative writing major who is completing their third year of study.

2022 | Lily Scriven

2021 | Matteo Cerilli

2020 | Marlee John

2018 | David Dupont

2017 | Eliot Gilbert

2016 | Luke Gagliardi


Sorbara Award in Creative Writing

Faculty members nominate students for this award.

Awarded to students with proven talent and commitment in creative writing. Recipients must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons, Ontario residents and demonstrate financial need. This award is made possible by the generous donation of Gregory and Kate Sorbara and their six children, all of whom have a strong dedication to the creative arts and music.

2022 | Sakeina Syed

2021 | Michael Kayser - Winner

2021 | Rachel Kearney - Honourable Mention

2021 | Moboluwajidide Joseph - Honourable Mention

2020 | Dante Nieuwold

2019 | Taylor Morgan; Dylan Woods

2018 | Miriam Gallou

2017 | Harpit Samra

2016 | Danielle Carter

2015 | JR Amparado

2014 | Jennifer Hunt

2013 | Magdalena Fedorov


The Judith Gewurtz Memorial Poetry Award

Submission-based award.

Awarded for the best poem submitted by a creative writing major completing their third year of study (90 credits). The recipient must demonstrate financial need and be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person and an Ontario resident.

2022 | Ben O'Connor - Winner

2022 | Jean Paul Mazlymian - Honourable Mention

2021 | Ivy de Rege-Braga

2020 | Justin Vanek

2019 | Teya Hollier

2018 | Dylan Martin

2017 | Eliot Gilbert

2016 | Danielle Carter; Abisheik Devathasan

2015 | Yasmina Jaksic

2014 | Whitney Sweet

2013 | Daniel Kim


Stanley Fefferman Prize in Creative Writing

Submission-based award.

This award is presented to the student producing the best final class portfolio in an introductory creative writing course.

2022 | Jean Paul Mazlymian

2021 | Sakeina Syed

2020 | Moboluwajidide Joseph

2019 | Jackson Donnelly

2018 | Dylan Woods

2017 | Miriam Gallou

2016 | Luke Gagliardi

2014 | Steven K. Lee

2013 | Jordan Girolametto-Prosen

Looking for more?

The Faculty of LA&PS also provides a number of scholarships, awards and bursaries. Use the award search and fill our your student financial profile today.