Bechtel Prize

Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) seeks submissions of essays that explore creative writing and arts education, the theme of the imagination, and/or creative writing.

Submissions for the Bechtel Prize may include:

  • Explorations of critical issues in creative writing and arts education.
  • Literacy narratives, first-hand accounts about the process of writing or teaching writing.
  • Memoirs about how and why the author became a writer or early experiences with literature and the imagination.
  • Reflections on the writer’s life and how poets and writers stay connected to their imaginations.
  • Portraits of key teachers and mentors in the author’s life.

The 2017 Bechtel Prize winner will be chosen by Garth Greenwell, who won the award in 2010. Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, selected for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction long list and shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2016 First Novel Prize. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Greenwell holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow and a Richard E. Guthrie Memorial Fellow. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris ReviewA Public Space, StoryQuarterly, and VICE. He lives in Iowa City.

The essay selected to receive the Bechtel Prize will appear in Teachers & Writers Magazine and the author will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Honoraria totaling $500 are shared by the authors of entries selected as finalists for the prize, which may also be published in Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Selection criteria for the Bechtel Prize include the essay’s relevance and appropriateness for readers of Teachers & Writers Magazine, most of whom teach writing at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary level. T&W welcomes submissions written in a poetic, lyric style; as well as personal narrative, reportage, and essays.

Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to visit the magazine to become familiar with the publication, and to read past winners of the award. The submission deadline for the 2017 Bechtel Prize is Friday, December 16, 2016. Please refer to the submission guidelines below for additional information.

2017 Bechtel Prize Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions must be previously unpublished and under 3,500 words in length.
  • Submissions must be typed, paginated, and double-spaced.
  • Submissions must be sent in Word or PDF format.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. The author’s name and address must not appear anywhere on the essay/article.
  • There is a $20 fee for each submission for the Bechtel Prize. Multiple entries are permitted.
  • Authors of the Bechtel Prize winner and finalists must permit T&W to publish their submissions in Teachers & Writers Magazine. T&W reserves the right to edit submissions for publication.
  • Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be reviewed for the Bechtel Prize.
  • Questions regarding these guidelines may be sent to

2017 Bechtel Prize Submission Process

There is a two-step process for submissions for the 2017 Bechtel Prize.

Step 1: Send the submission as a Word or PDF attachment to an e-mail to, Ensure that the author’s name, email address, and phone number are included in the e-mail message, but do not appear on the essay. If you wish to submit more than one essay, each submission should be sent as an attachment to a separate e-mail message.

Step 2: Submit the $20 fee for each submission by PayPal to


SUPPORT FOR THE BECHTEL PRIZE To make a contribution to support the Bechtel Prize or Teachers & Writers Magazine, please contact T&W Executive Director Amy Swauger at 212-691-6590 extension 1001,

Previous Winners

All the award-winning essays are collected here.