Whirling Prize

Etchings Press Whirling Prize


“It is that something in the soul which says, Rage on, Whirl on, I tread master here and everywhere—Master of the spasms of the sky and of the shatter of the sea, Master of nature and passion and death, and of all terror and all pain.” – Walt Whitman


Etchings Press, a student-run publisher at University of Indianapolis, awards The Whirling Prize each fall to two books that demonstrate an excellent and compelling response to a theme that students at the university select.

2018 Theme


Student judges welcome recently published books on issues related to disability published since January 2016. Students are employing a broad interpretation of this criteria in their reading and judging and are especially interested in reading books with a focus on disabilities either visible (manifesting in symptoms people see and respond to) or invisible (like chronic fatigue syndrome, addiction, or learning disabilities).


Contest Prize


Each winner will receive $500 and 25 copies of a letterpress broadside designed and produced by students of UIndy’s Hullabaloo Press, and each winner will be invited to participate in an episode of a literary podcast with the student judges, which will air winter 2019. Graduate and undergraduate students will read the submitted books and choose the two winners. The postmark deadline for submission is Sept. 1, 2018.



All writers focusing on topics related to the theme above are welcome to participate. Books can be any genre (or mixed genre), including poetry, memoir, creative nonfiction, short stories, or novels.



Entry and Judging Details

  1. All books connected to the theme of disability published since January 2016 are eligible.
  2. Books can be any genre (or mixed genre), including poetry, memoir, creative nonfiction, short stories, or novels.
  3. Books may have more than one author.
  4. Publishers may submit on behalf of authors.
  5. Undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Indianapolis will read all entries and choose two winners.
  6. Winners will be announced in December 2018.
  7. Winners will receive a $500 prize, as well as 25 copies of a letterpress broadside, which will be designed and produced by student designers from UIndy’s Hullabaloo Press.
  8. Winners must agree to participate in a literary podcast with the student judges in winter 2019, during which they will talk about craft and their winning books.
  9. After the announcement, UIndy faculty will work with the winners to coordinate their podcasts, which will air in winter 2019.
  10. All entries will be housed in UIndy’s Krannert Memorial Library identified by a Whirling Prize bookplate for future student use.
  11. The reading fee is $20 (payable to University of Indianapolis).
  12. All entries must be postmarked by Sept. 1, 2018.


Submission and Reading Fee

Please send one copy of your book and a reading fee of $20 (payable to University of Indianapolis) to:


Etchings Press
c/o UIndy English Department
1400 East Hanna Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46227


Please include a cover letter that shares your contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address). We also welcome short bios.

Note: We’ve received inquiries about online payment for the $20 contest reading fee. You are welcome to use our secure store at https://secure.uindy.edu/C20224_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=555. Please note in your cover letter that you paid online.




If you have questions regarding the contest, please contact:


Liz Whiteacre

Advisor, Etchings Press




Past Winners


Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein





Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams






Open Mouth of the Vase by Amy Ash





What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross






My Mother’s Funeral  by Adriana Paramo





Sad Math by Sarah Freligh






Larissa Takes Flight  Teresa Milbrodt  





Wytchfire Michael Meyerhofer 






Boxing the Compass by Sandy Florian





Dear Hero by Jason McCall



If you have any questions about the contest, please contact Liz Whiteacre (whiteacree@uindy.edu).