The Patricia Nestler Excellence in Creative Writing Awards celebrate Montgomery County Community College students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in Creative Writing.

To be considered for this award, students need to meet the criteria and follow the rules below, as well as submit one poem and/or one fiction work by the deadline of March 22, 2024. A prize of $500 will be awarded in each of two categories, poetry and short fiction. In the event of a tie in either category, (2) $250 awards will be presented in that category.

By 2 p.m., March 22, entries must be emailed to Dr. Patti McEnery, Assistant Dean for Liberal Arts, at

$500 Award for Each Category
  • Student Poetry—Submit one (1) poem that does not exceed 100-line maximum.
  • Student Fiction—Submit one (1) short story that does not exceed 3,000-word maximum.
Criteria for Eligibility
  1. Eligibility is restricted to students enrolled at Montgomery County Community College in fall 2023 and/or spring 2024.
  2. Students must have taken at least one Creative Writing course at the College or a transfer college.
  3. Students cannot receive the Creative Writing Award more than once in the same category, nor can they win in both categories in the same year.
  1. Each student must enter the appropriate category. Only one entry per category is permitted. All works must be original creations.
  2. Submissions should be typed on 8 1/2” x 11” paper and double-spaced with Times New Roman, 12 point font and one-inch margins. Please email submissions as attachments.
  3. Name, address, email address, and phone number must be on a separate title page, along with the category letter entered ("A" for poetry or "B" for fiction). Also, list the location, semester, and year that you completed your creative writing course.
  4. In the upper right-hand corners of all subsequent pages, list the entry title, followed underneath by the last four digits of the phone number previously listed on the title page.
  5. The student’s name is not to appear on any page other than the title page. All pages should be numbered.
  6. Winners will be notified by email.