The first Litfest was held in Spring 2003, the first year of the Writers' House. Litfest is one of many projects that Writers' House has initiated over the years to recognize and support the undergraduate literary community at University of Maryland.
The Jiménez-Porter Literary Prize is an annual writing contest open to all University of Maryland undergraduates. Judges read the manuscripts after names of authors have been removed, to preserve anonymity. Notable judges in years past have included Kyle Dargan, Robert Girardi, Fady Joudah, Terese Svoboda, Rod Jellema, Ocean Vuong, Kathy MacMillan, Shara McCallum and Antonya Nelson.
The Cabrini Art Award is an art contest presented by Stylus for the first time in 2011. The Award winners are selected from a pool of submissions that the editors collectively vote on as finalists for the award. The Art Editor then determines the three winners based on a point system meant to objectively score each piece of artistic merit.
The Stylus Cover Art Award is judged by the Art Editor, Editors-in-Chief and Layout Editor. The cover contest gives an artist the opportunity to have their artwork featured as the cover design for the journal. The choice for winner of the Stylus Cover Art Award is guided by the theme, tone, and mood of the issue's art and writing for that year.
All art submitted to Stylus for publication is considered for both the Stylus Cover Art Award and the Cabrini Art Award. No additional action is required on behalf of the art submitters to be entered into the contests.
Initial Reader: Emily Zido | Final Judge: Kathy MacMillan
Finalists in alphabetical order: Olivia Braley for “SOFTENING,” Sona Chaudhary for “Inkle & Yarico Among the Stars,” Megan Conley for “Chicken Nuggets,” Christian Fuller for “The Weather Channel,” Carolina Meurkens for “Sundays with Oscar,” Katherine Montella for “Sunset,” Stephanie Moy for “Vacancy.”
Initial Reader: Mariya Zilberman | Final Judge: Shara McCallum
Finalists in alphabetical order: Timmy Chong for “Royally Flushed,” Kosi Dunn for “Life Hacks or, 37.2 BILLION CELLS IN MY GODDAMN BODY AND MOM STILL ASKS IF I BEEN PRODUCTIVE,” Christian Fuller for “Homeschool Sex Ed,” Caitlin Lee-Hendricks for “A Lament to the Once Untouched,” Katherine Montella for “Handpicked Berries by the Lake,” Tayo Omisore for “International Players’ Anthem” and “Scouting Report: The Boy That Thought The Sunset Was A Football and Ran For It,” Kara Phillips for “Sea Creatures.”