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. 


FAQs 

Q: How many works can I submit?

A: The maximum number of submissions for each category includes: ten art pieces, seven poems, six fiction stories, or four nonfiction pieces. 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 for prose. No more than two pages, single-spaced for poetry.

  • 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 jpg or tif file format. Size to fit roughly a 7" x 11" page size. Use CMYK, not RGB, color profile. For comics, 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! However, if you submit to us and we select it, you are welcome to submit it to other publications after we publish it first.


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 will not publish. 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! 


Q: What about this year's theme?

A: This year's theme is Asterisk. An asterisk is a star-shaped symbol traditionally used in writing to mark an annotation, definition, disclaimer, omission, or aside in a footnote or separate body of text. An asterisk could be used for reflection, change, or design. We want to explore this marking as a symbol for omitted truths: the elaborations, contradictions, and variations of our narratives. We will have more on our theme later. Try not to let our theme define your work; instead, get creative and let your work re-define our theme!

We wish you the best of luck and look forward to reviewing your work. Thank you for your interest and contributions to The Tower.

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. 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 2020 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 jtyung@umn.edu

Ends on

ONLY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA--TWIN CITIES CAMPUS MAY SUBMIT.


Submit your work as a Word .doc or .docx attachment. Name the file with the title of the poem. 


If you are submitting multiple poems, submit each separately. Please submit no more than seven poems per reading period. 


Include your name, contact information including postal mailing address, the title of the work submitted, and a brief bio in the designated space for a bio/cover letter.

Ends on

ONLY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA--TWIN CITIES CAMPUS MAY SUBMIT.


Submit your work as a Word .doc or .docx attachment. Name the file with the title of the story. 


Please submit no more than six stories per reading period. If you are submitting multiple stories, submit each separately. Also, please limit your submission to no more than six pages, double-spaced, per piece, due to our limited publication space.


Include your name, contact information including postal address, the title of the work submitted, and a brief bio in the designated space for a bio/cover letter.

ONLY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA--TWIN CITIES CAMPUS MAY SUBMIT.


Submit your work as a Word .doc or .docx attachment. Name the file with the title of the essay. 


Please submit no more than four essays per reading period. If you are submitting multiple essays, submit each separately. Also, please limit your submission to no more than six pages, double-spaced, per piece, due to our limited publication space.


Include your name, contact information including postal address, the title of the work submitted, and a brief bio in the designated space for a bio/cover letter. 

 Hey, visual artists! We’ll try to keep this less wordy—seeing what you have is more important to us.

The instructions:

  • Submit your photography, paintings, drawings, comics, etc. as high-resolution, print-quality images (see “what we want” for specifications). 
  • Name the file with the title of the piece. Do not include your name in the file title.
  • Include your name, contact information, the title and medium of the work submitted, and a brief bio in the designated space for a bio/cover letter.

What we want:

  • High-resolution, print-quality images: 300 dpi, in jpg or tif file format. Size to fit roughly a 7” x 11" page size. Use CMYK, not RGB, color profile.
  • If you are submitting multiple pieces, please submit them separately (no more than 10 submissions are accepted per reading period).
  • A short preface explaining the medium used and what the work is about—especially if the theme or intention of isn’t clear. 
  • Photography, paintings, traditional and digital drawings, comics, etc (see below for what this does not include).

We do not accept:

  • Fan art such as: portraits of famous people (musicians, celebrities, etc.); photographs of concerts or performances; imitations of posters, logos, brands, etc.
  • Social-media-inspired art and writing such as: portraits with Instagram filters; meme imitations; tributes to YouTubers, etc.
  • More than 10 pieces per reading period.
  • Already published visual artwork.

Important to note:

  • ONLY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES CAMPUS MAY SUBMIT.
  • Again, fan art and social-media-inspired art will not be accepted.
The Tower