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The Spalding Prize

for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature

In 2019, Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing, home of the nationally distinguished low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program, established the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature to honor exceptional literary works that exemplify Spalding University’s mission. Each year, the author of the winning title receives $7500 and is invited to visit the School in Louisville, Kentucky, as a distinguished visiting writer to read from and discuss the honored work.































A book-length title of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, including picture books, or a full-length play or screenplay will be selected annually to receive the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature. Spalding MFA faculty members nominate literary works to be considered for the award. Members of the reading community may also make nominations by sending a copy of the book, playscript, or screenplay no later than October 1 of each year to

The Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature

School of Creative and Professional Writing

Spalding University

851 S. Fourth St. 

Louisville, KY, 40203

Playscripts and screenplays do not need to be published but must have been produced on stage or in film. There is no requirement for the work to have been published recently. The School Chair and Directors make the final decisions on the awardee. 


Building on the success of the university’s nationally distinguished MFA in Writing program founded in 2001, the Naslund-Mann School of Writing incorporates Spalding’s graduate writing programs—the MFA, the Master of Arts in Writing program, a post-master’s graduate certificate in the teaching of creative writing, and a post-Masters certificate in writing enrichment, all accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Together, the graduate certificate, the MA in Writing, and the MFA create a three-tiered offering for writers seeking graduate education in writing in one, two, or four semesters.

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2023 Winner

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Author of The Love Songs of W.E.B.

Du Bois

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2021 Winner

Kiki Petrosino

Author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia


2019 Winner

Terese Marie Mailhot

Author of Heart Berries: A Memoir


2022 Winner

Randy Ribay

Author of Patron Saints of Nothing


2020 Winner

Kevin Willmott

Screenwriter of BlacKkKlansman


Spalding University is a diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth through quality undergraduate and graduate liberal and professional studies, grounded in spiritual values, with emphasis on service and the promotion of peace and justice. 

Spalding University's Mission Statement

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