Only undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities campus may submit.
Edited, designed, and produced by students enrolled in a two-semester course offered by the English Department, The Tower is an annual journal that publishes the best in art, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction by undergraduates at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities Campus.
Submit each piece for consideration separately. List your name, contact information including your email address, phone number, and a current street mailing address, and a short bio (approx. 50 words) within the space allowed for a cover letter. (For ArtWords entries, do not include your name within the submitted piece; be sure to include your email address and indicate whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student. See the contest guidelines for complete instructions.)
Submissions are read during the fall semester; the issue is published during the spring semester in print and online, and is distributed free on the Twin Cities Campus of the University of Minnesota.
Q: What is this year's theme?
A: Our theme is "Each of Us Is Many."
Q: What should I include in my cover letter?
A: Here’s what we want to see:
- Name (Let us know preferred spelling, nicknames, etc.)
- Contact information (including postal address, email, and phone)
- Year and Major(s) (if known)
- Title of work submitted
Please do not include an explanation of the piece’s theme, message, etc.
Please keep your bio to approximately 50 words.
Q: How many works can I submit?
A: Depends! The maximum number of submissions for each category includes: ten art pieces, seven poems, six fiction stories, or four nonfiction pieces.
Q: I want to submit more than one piece. What should I do?
A: Awesome! We encourage multiple submissions! But please submit each for consideration separately.
Q: How long can my submission be?
A: Are you submitting art? If so, please limit each piece to one page. For poetry, no more than two pages, please. Fiction and nonfiction pieces can be as long as six pages.
Q: How should I format my poetry/fiction/nonfiction submission?
A: No more than six pages, double-spaced
- Times New Roman
- 12-point font
- No spacing between paragraphs
- Indent new paragraphs (tabs, not spaces)
Q: What about art?
A: Submit your photography, paintings, drawings, comics, etc., as high-resolution, print-quality images: 300 dpi, in jpeg file format. Size to fit roughly a 7" x 11" page size. Use CMYK, not RGB, color profile.
Q: What kinds of medium are accepted?
A: We accept photography, paintings, traditional and digital drawings, comics, etcetera!
Q: Can I submit a comic as an art submission?
A: Yes! Comics with multiple panels are acceptable, but try to limit the entire piece to one page—two pages if absolutely necessary.
Q: Can I submit a story that has already been published elsewhere?
A: No, sorry!
Q: When will I hear back about my submission?
A: You can expect to hear back from us around March. We know that's a long wait, but it takes us time to thoroughly consider each submission!
Q: What topics should I avoid?
A: We are open to a lot of different submissions, but there are certain things that we are just not comfortable publishing. Any work that advocates for racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and/or general hate speech will not be accepted. We also don’t accept anything overtly political—especially advocating for a specific political candidate or party. While we value serious conversations about mental health, any gratuitous depictions of suicide, violence, and/or death will not be accepted. Finally, we do not accept works that are inspired by social media (including memes) or fan fiction (including works based on other works).
Q. So what types of submissions are you looking for?
A: We love this question, because we have a lot of things that we love to read! We don’t have a “perfect” submission in mind, but there are art styles and themes that we enjoy reading.
Let’s jump into the specifics. We want pieces that are innovative. We want to be challenged as we interact with your submission. Common themes (falling in love, grieving a lost loved one, etc.) are acceptable, but tell your story in a unique way. We want to see emotion and humor; don’t be afraid to tell dark stories, but also don’t shy away from happy pieces; we want balance. We want to be shown, not told. We want to be impressed with the quality, form, and artistry of your work. We want to see that you’re passionate about your submission, and that you’ve poured a piece of yourself into your work. We respond to things that feel genuine. If you’re excited about your submission, we are more likely to be excited about it too!
Open to only to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities campus, ArtWords is an annual competition held by the Weisman Art Museum in collaboration with The Tower and the English Department’s Creative Writing Program. To enter, students should visit the Weisman’s galleries in person, select a piece of art on display that is in the museum’s permanent collection, and write a piece of poetry or prose (maximum word count: 300) that is in some way a creative reflection or a response (not art criticism) to the artwork.
First, second, and third place winners are selected in two categories: undergraduate and graduate submissions. Graduate winners will receive gift certificates to the Weisman Art Museum Shop (First Place: $75; Second: $50; Third: $25). Undergraduate winners will be published in The Tower Spring 2019 print issue. Judges include representatives from the Weisman, The Tower, and the Creative Writing Program.
Please follow these instructions (submissions that do not will be disqualified):
On the submitted document:
• Do not include your name; write only your student ID in the top left corner.
• Indicate the complete and accurate title of the artwork and artist
• Provide a title for your written work
In your cover note:
• Include your university email address.
• Indicate whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.
An ArtWords map is available at the museum's front desk, which indicates which galleries are eligible.
If you have additional questions, please contact Jamee Yung, Director of Education, Weisman Art Museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org