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Olive Woolley Burt Awards

For Creative Writing

The Olive Woolley Burt Awards are open to the general public for previously unpublished work. Discounts for entry given to members of the League of Utah Writers.

Submissions Accepted

March 1st thru May 31st

To submit, use the Rules & Submissions button below where you will find submission guidelines, full description of this year's categories, and cost to enter.

Winners announced at the Quills Conference Awards Ceremony

August 14, 2021

2021 Categories



Narrative Poetry (open or closed form)

Light Verse

Prose Poem

Word Play


Flash Fiction

First Chapter (Adult)

First Chapter (Young Adult)

Creative Nonfiction

Short General Fiction

Short Speculative Fiction (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror)


Short Romance

Media Article

Children's Story

Spiritual Essay 

New Writer (New Voices)*

First Chapter

Creative Nonfiction

Short Fiction


Some categories are rotating - this list is subject to change when contest submissions are opened

*New Voices categories are open to authors who have never been paid for their work

About The Olive Woolley Burt Awards


The Woolley Awards are named in honor of Olive Woolley Burt.


Olive Woolley Burt (1894-1981) was the founding president of the League of Utah Writers, serving in that role from 1935 to 1939. In 1927, she quit her job as a teacher to take a job as the children's editor at the Salt Lake Tribune and later went to work for the Deseret News in 1945 where she remained until her retirement in 1967. Burt wrote over 50 books for children and adults, though the most notable might be American Murder Ballads and their Stories in 1958. It won a special Edgar Award in 1959. She spent all of her years working tirelessly for the League, promoting writing as a profession and a hobby for all of the writers of Utah for almost 50 years. 

She was particularly fond of writing children's books that illuminated stories of possibility to children with an aggressively progressive bent. One book, First Woman Editor: Sarah J. Hale tells the story of the first woman in the United States to be the editor of a magazine. Another, Black Women of Valor, brought positive stories of Black history to white audiences who wouldn't otherwise hear them in times where racist attitudes ran rampant.

Read more about her here:


See a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1adMmab1M8