Henfield Prize

An annual award in fiction

Through the generosity of the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation, the University of Virginia is now one of five schools to offer an annual $10,000 Henfield Prize in fiction writing to one of its graduate students in creative writing. (See UVA Today news article.)

Eligibility:

  • The author must be a currently enrolled graduate student in the UVA MFA in Creative Writing Program (this means third-year UVA MFA students may enter and that UVA MFA poetry students may also enter).
  • The work must be fiction and unpublished (and unaccepted for publication) when submitted; the work is ineligible if it has already won a publicized prize elsewhere. In short, the work needs to be new fiction that our blind judge will not know.
  • The fiction must have been created while the writer was enrolled in our MFA program.
  • The work can be under consideration at one or more journals or publishing houses when submitted to the Henfield Prize. If the work is accepted for publication before the Henfield Prize is announced, we ask that the author make every attempt to delay all publication and promotional announcements until after the Henfield results are returned, which is usually in the first two weeks of May.
  • Prior winners of the Henfield Prize cannot enter. Just as with fellowships like the Guggenheim, we believe a single award per writer is best for all concerned.

Deadline:

Henfield Prize submissions are due by two p.m. on the second Monday in April of each year. Please hand deliver a print version to the Creative Writing staff unless you have an extenuating circumstance.

Format:

Submissions must be fiction—a short story, novel excerpt, or group of stories—that totals twenty-five (25) single-sided pages or fewer. Put your title at the top of the first page. Format the document with margins of at least one inch on all sides. We recommend using page numbers, which may be inside the minimum margins. Use a standard font and font size (usually twelve point), and standard double-spacing. Do not put your name or other identifying information on the manuscript. Staple the manuscript or secure it with a paperclip. Include a separate sheet with your name, the story title, your e-mail, and your phone so that we can match up the judge’s picks (story titles) with your names.

The judge will remain anonymous until the program announces results. We typically expect this announcement in the first weeks of May.

UVA Henfield Prize Recipients:

Alumni Award/Org Date/Book (if applicable)
Philip Jason
(MFA-Fiction)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2017-05-05 (News)
Fiction
Michael Sears
(MFA-Fiction 2016)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2016-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Emily Temple
(MFA-Fiction 2016)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2015-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Onyinye Ihezukwu
(MFA-Fiction 2015)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2014-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Alison Penning
(MFA-Fiction 2014)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2013-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Gregory Jackson
(MFA-Fiction 2013)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2012-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Austin Smith
(MFA-Poetry 2012)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
2011-05-30 (News)
Fiction
Michael Knight
(MFA-Fiction 1996)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
1996-05-30
Fiction
Lynn Hamilton
(MFA-Fiction 1995)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
1995-05-30
Fiction
Douglas Lawson
(MFA-Poetry 1995)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
1995-05-30
Fiction
Mark Dewey
(MFA 1991)
Henfield Prize
McCrindle Foundation and the University of Virginia
1991-05-30
Fiction

*Winners prior to 2011 received their Henfield Prizes directly from the McCrindle Foundation.

More MFA Program Info

For more information on our Master of Fine Arts Program, select one of the buttons at right.