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Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the first annual South Carolina Creative Sociology Writing Competition!

Join us on Friday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. for a virtual reading to celebrate the competition winners. The virtual reading will take place via Zoom. This event is free and open to the public with registration. Click here to register.

South Carolina Creative Sociology Writing Competition

The Department of Sociology at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) will host its first annual South Carolina Creative Sociology Writing Competition. Students across South Carolina are encouraged to write inspiring pieces that combine The Sociological Imagination and the craft of writing to cultivate perspective-taking among readers. We invite submissions of short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction that explore the theme:

Cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners: First place: $500;  Second place: $300; Third place: $200. An additional cash prize will be awarded for the work with the greatest emphasis on issues of social justice and equity. Submissions are due September 25, 2023. Winners may also be published in Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature. Email to submit your work by September 25, 2023. 


The Sociological Imagination—a perspective that encourages us to place ‘individual troubles’ and ‘personal problems’ within the context of broader ‘public issues’—is the cornerstone of all sociological coursework and scholarship. The purpose of this contest is to encourage the practice of a more public, interdisciplinary sociology and to make The Sociological Imagination accessible, relevant, and engaging to a wider audience. 

This contest is for undergraduate and graduate students from any academic discipline who want to use creative writing as a tool to think critically and creatively about our social world. Specifically, we invite submissions that forge micro-macro connections and cultivate empathy within readers. Topics may include but are not limited to health care, criminal justice reform, climate change, gun violence, immigration, and identity-based discrimination. Creative pieces must be accompanied by a 500-word exegesis that highlights key sociological concepts, theory, and scientific research that contextualizes the work. 


  1. Entrants must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in a South Carolina college or university during fall 2023. 

  2. Entrants may submit one poem, work of short fiction, or work of creative nonfiction. Poetry should be limited to 40 lines or fewer, while short fiction and creative nonfiction should be no longer than 3,000 words. Other than length, there are no restrictions as to the style, form, content, or subject of submissions, as long as the entry meets the contest theme of “Empathy and Science.” 

  3. Entries must be accompanied by a brief (500 word) exegesis that highlights the sociological concepts, theories, and scientific research that contextualizes the creative work.

  4. Please email contest entry and exegesis as an attached PDF or Word document to with the subject line “Creative Sociology Writing Competition.” In the body of the email, please include the following information: 
    - Your name, email address, and phone number
    - Your college or university
    - The title of your submission
    - Submission genre (poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction)

  5. Your name, the name of your institution, and your email must not appear on the manuscript of your entry. Your entry manuscript must have a title, but all other identifying information should appear only in the body of your email.
  6. Entries must be received by September 25, 2023. There is no entry fee.

  7. All entries will be blind-reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty judges.

  8. Cash prizes will be awarded: 1st place: $500; 2nd place: $300; 3rd place: $200. An award will also be presented for the work with the greatest emphasis on issues of social justice and equity. 

  9. Awards will be presented at a virtual reading event on October 27, 2023, where winners will be invited to read their work.

  10. Winners may also be published in Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature. 


Dr. Lisa Winters and Dr. Joshua Cross at

This contest is funded by CCU's Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences, CCU's Social Justice Research Initiative, and funded in part by South Carolina Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.