The Undergraduate MoRe Prize is currently closed. Please check back to submit on Oct. 1. 2020

Our 2019-2020 Guest Judge: Deb Olin Unferth

Photo credit to Nick Berard

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of six books. She has received the Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, McSweeny’s and the Paris Review.

Photo of Gabriel Perez

Undergraduate MoRe Prize Winner 2019-2020: Gabriel J. Perez

Winning Story: “How to Become Your Father”

A Xicano native of San Gabriel Valley, Calif., Gabriel J. Perez’s poetry and fiction dissect the family as a social unit. His creative nonfiction attempts to bring to the fore communities long confined to the peripheries of academia and society at large. He intends to pursue an MFA in creative writing. He is interested in exploring the ways in which the violences of racial prejudice, patriarchy, and poverty bleed into our identities, infect the narratives we inherit and internalize, and ultimately cripple our social consciousness and ability to self-actualize. He believes a teaching position in higher education would enable him to cultivate his passion for research and writing and contribute to the advancement of his community.

Undergraduate MoRe Prize Second Place Winner 2019-2020: Marguerite Alley

Story: “Gravitation”

Undergraduate MoRe Prize Third Place Winner 2019-2020: Dan Calnan

Story: “Dear Thanatos” 

Our 2018-2019 Guest Judge: Kwame Dawes

Photo credit to Chris Abani

Kwame Dawes is the author of 21 books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. In 2016 his book Speak from Here to There, a co-written collection of verse with Australian poet John Kinsella, appeared along with When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life (Pacific University Press), which he edited. His most recent collection, City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern University Press), appeared in 2017. Also in 2017, Dawes co-edited with Matthew Shenoda Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Responding to the Art of Romare Bearden (Northwest University Press). In 2018 a new edition of his 1995 epic, Prophets, was released by Peepal Tree. His awards include the Forward Poetry Prize, The Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, The Musgrave Silver Medal, several Pushcart Prizes, the Barnes and Nobles Writers for Writers Award, and an Emmy. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and is Chancellor Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. He also teaches in the Pacific MFA Program. Dawes serves as the Associate Poetry Editor for Peepal Tree Books and is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund. He is Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Series, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. In 2018 Dawes was elected a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Undergraduate MoRe Prize Winner 2018-19: Jennifer Woolard
Winning poem: “Whalebone”
Jennifer Woolard is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in writing & literature within the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently focusing on surrealism and imagism in poetry and prose poetry, Jennifer also practices visual arts including ink drawing, painting, book arts, and photography. In the future she hopes to pursue freelance and collaborative work in creative/multimedia writing and artmaking.
 Undergraduate MoRe Prize Honorable Mention 2018-19: Pei Ja Anderson
Poem: “The Dance Began”

Our 2017-18 Guest Judge: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her more than thirty books have also topped the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in over twenty countries.

She has written several young adult novels including The Isle of the Lost, Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, The Gates of Paradise, just to name a few.

She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English. Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood, California with her husband and daughter.

Bio credit to


Undergraduate MoRe Prize Winner 2017-18: Jeremy Shaban

Winning story: “Summer in Autumn”

Jeremy Shaban is currently a senior at Allegheny College, where he is the Personnel and Submissions Manager of its national undergraduate literary journal, The Allegheny Review. He also copy-edits for Film Criticism and works as both a writing consultant and grammar tutor. He will be graduating in May 2018 as an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis.

Undergraduate MoRe Prize Honorable Mention 2017-18: Hannah Diaz

Story: “A Story Never Told”

Undergraduate MoRe Prize Honorable Mention 2017-18: Lauren Caldarella

Story: “There Goes That”


You can read these prize-winning pieces in the newest issue of The Mochila Review, available here.