The Thompson Awards for Western American Writing contest has concluded for 2016. Please check back in the fall for details on how to enter the 2017 contest.

CLICK HERE to read the 2016 winning entries.

Regardless of whether you call the West your home or you are just passing through, as a student at CU Boulder you live, breathe, eat, drink, and sleep the West. As a result, you have a unique perspective on the West. Here is a rare opportunity to transform that perspective into cash. All you need to do is put it to paper. And you can do so in whatever genre that suits your creative impulse: poetry, fiction, memoir, or non-fiction. You don’t even have to create something new! Search your hard drive for stories, poems, papers, anything you’ve written for classes that deal with the West. There’s no entry fee, and hence, nothing to lose. So go ahead, enter different pieces in different categories.


It’s writing about the West. And what is that? In many ways that’s for you to decide. It could be the spiny ridge of the continental divide; or a random rodeo you stumble upon on a road trip; or the road trip itself; or branding time on the ranch; or your experience growing up in a border town; or the skinning of a deer; or environmental conservation; immigration; or public lands management.

Open to CU Boulder students only.