I am writing to announced the kickoff of the 2015 SELEF Literary Competition! This is a great opportunity to participate in one of our largest and most treasured traditions of our organization while showcasing your talents in writing, film, photography, and music.

The deadline for this year's competition is Monday, June 8, 2015 .

This year, as in other years, we are continuing to require ALL entries be sent to SELEF Headquarters electronically sent to

Please note that, by entering the competition, you are giving your permission for the Foundation to place your entry on its website and in various marketing materials.

The rules and instructions can be found below. Please make sure to read them carefully and make sure you have followed directions (as the judges will not be forgiving if you do not).  The most common mistake is to not include a cover letter with your entries so don't let that simple mistake disqualify your entries. 

Thank you for making the effort to support our literary tradition. I wish you the best of luck in this year's contest, and in the development of your own individual literary endeavors.

Please be sure to contact me if you have any questions about this year's competition.


Steve Ehrfurth

Chairman - Literary Programing 

Samuel Eells Literary & Educational Foundation (SELEF)


1.  The 2015 SELEF Literary Competition is open to all undergraduate college students associated with SELEF at select schools.   All entries must be received by Monday, June 8, 2015.

2.  A $1,000 GRAND PRIZE will be awarded to that single entry which shows the greatest level of overall excellence in one of the six categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, film, and music/lyrics.  The decision of the judges is final; the judges may also elect not to give the award, or may split it into two $500 prizes.  The prize money is paid directly to the winner.  This is not a scholarship; it is a direct cash award. Previous winners of this prize are not eligible to win a second time, but they can enter and win first prizes in any or all categories.

3.  First prize of $250 is offered in all categories.  Based on the number of second, third and fourth prizes awarded, cash grants may be made of amounts smaller than $100, based on funds available and the number of awards granted.

4.  There are six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Photography, Film, and Music/Lyrics.

5.  Entries must be originals, submitted via e-mail or on a CD-ROM as a Word document.  Entries in the Photography category may be submitted by mail or via email in color or in black and white; slides are acceptable.  Photographic entries must not exceed 10 x 14 in size, and entrant is responsible for mailing entries with proper backing to prevent damage to the photographs.  Photographs will be returned only if return is requested.  Film entries must be submitted via shipped postage in DVD format.  Music/Lyrics may be submitted electronically or via shipped postage in CD-ROM format only, with audio file and accompanying lyrics.  All entries must be shipped postage or as an e-mail.  The judges are absolutely intolerant of poor spelling or grammar.

6.  Entries should not be signed and should not bear information that could disclose the identity of the entrant.  The entrant must attach a separate document, as a cover sheet to the original manuscript that gives the following information: category in which entered; title of entry; entrant's name, address and telephone number; and entrant's college and anticipated graduation year.

7.  Previously published manuscripts and photographs are not eligible for entry, except works published in college or university publications.  Original written material submitted for course work is acceptable. Submit recent works to the competition, rather than works submitted in previous years.  No entrant may submit more than five entries in any single category.  All manuscripts must be typed.  Handwritten materials will be rejected.  Manuscripts must be sent electronically, either as an e-mail attachment or on CD; no facsimile copies will be accepted.

8.  Manuscripts of less than 1,500 words are strongly recommended; however, manuscripts of up to 5,000 words will receive consideration .  All manuscripts should be intended for the general well-educated reader; none should require highly specialized or technical knowledge.

9.    All entries become the property of SELEF and none can be returned except by special request.

10.  Manuscripts will be considered if submitted from undergraduate college students in good standing associated with SELEF at select colleges.

11.  By entering the Literary Competition, all participants assure SELEF that the submitted work is his or her own, and that all sources are correctly referenced. In addition to this, all participants grant the Samuel Eells Literary and Educational Foundation the unrestricted right to display all and/or selected entries on a SELEF website or within a printed SELEF literary journal.   

12.  There is no minimum number of submissions required for an award to made in each category.  However, regardless of the number of submissions made, the judges reserve the right not to make an award in any category if they deem that no submissions meet the standards to earn an award.  All decisions made by the judges are final and are kept confidential.  

Address all photography, film, and/or music/lyrics entries and correspondence to:

Samuel Eells Literary and Educational Foundation

ATTN: Literary Competition

6126 Lincoln Avenue

Morton Grove, IL 60053

Send your entries to: