Kurnitz International Student Creative Writing Award

The Kurnitz International Student Creative Writing Award was established in 1970 by the Estate of Harry Kurnitz to support annual International Students Creative Writing Awards.

The Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars is proud to present this UCLA tradition for more than 40 years. This unique writing competition is specifically designed to engage the international community here at UCLA. In submitting original pieces, international students are given the opportunity to express their creative talents through writing.

Harry Kurnitz was a playwright and screenwriter who worked in Hollywood in the 1930’s & 1940’s. Along with his own passion for writing, he wanted to create opportunities for young writers, especially those who are not native English speakers. In 1965, Kurnitz and his business manager, Charles Goldring, created an endowment at UCLA for these awards that have given visibility and support to the talents of dozens of UCLA students from majors throughout the campus and countries across the globe. We invite you to be part of this tradition!


  • Applicant must be foreign-born and not hold U.S. citizenship.
  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled UCLA international degree seeking student or EAP student on the main campus, who has a valid non-immigrant visa and is eligible to receive monetary awards from a university.
  • The applicants’ native language must not be English, which will be reinforced with a signed affidavit, post-acceptance.
  • Please note that UCLA Extension students, Visiting Graduate Researchers, UCLA certificate program students, U.S. permanent residents (P.R.), and AB-540 students are ineligible for this award.

How to apply

  • All submissions must be an original work by the participant and the work cannot have been previously published (including online).
  • Participants may only be awarded once during the course of the competition.
  • Entries must be submitted (via upload) in English, typed, double spaced (the only exception is that poems may be single or double spaced depending on the authors’ artistic preference).
  • Entries will be coded and distributed to judges without the author’s name or identity to ensure fairness.

What type of creative writing are accepted?
Participants may submit multiple entries, but you may only submit ONE in each of the following categories:

Category 1:

  • Screenplay (maximum 120 pages)
  • Novel (maximum 200 pages)
  • Television Script (maximum 90 pages)
  • Short Play (maximum 50 pages)

Category 2:

  • Feature/ Short Story (maximum 1,500 words / approximately 6 pages)

Category 3:

  • Poetry (entry must include 3 or more poems of any length. Individual poems will not be accepted.

Winners are announced at the Dashew End of Year Banquet on May 20, 2020.

Supplemental Questions
  1. Country of Birth
  2. Are you currently an international, degree seeking student or international EAP student?
  3. Are you an UCLA Extension, VGR, certificate program, PR, or AB540 student?
  4. Please indicate which writing category to which you are applying (multiple selections are possible).
  5. Category 1
    • 1A. Which type of Category 1 Writing are you submitting?
    • 1B. Upload Category 1 materials
    • 1C. Title of Category 1 Entry
    • 1D. Excerpt Category 1 Page Range
    • 1E. Has this material ever been produced for a public audience?
    • 1F. Has this material ever been published elsewhere (including online)?
    • 1G. Has this material ever received a past award?
    • 1H. Has anyone assisted you in writing or editing this work?
    • 1Hb. If yes, who?
  6. Show 2 more