Call for Entries: “Taking Shape” NYU Student Writing Prize Competitions

Call for Entries, NYU Student Writing Prize Competitions

Focusing on the Grey Art Gallery’s exhibition Taking Shape: Abstract Art from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s

Note: This writing competition is open to currently enrolled NYU students only.

The Taking Shape NYU Student Writing Prize competitions will award $250 each for the best short prose piece or poem written by an NYU undergraduate and graduate student in response to the Grey Art Gallery’s recent exhibition. Entrants are encouraged to work from images and documents available on the Grey’s website. Two second-place winners will receive $100 each, and two honorable mentions $50 each. Each of the six winners will also receive a copy of the exhibition catalogue.

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.

The submission deadline is Friday, October 16, 2020. Dr. Lucy Oakley, Head of Education and Programs at the Grey, will conduct a blind review of the submissions and select the winners. The six winning entries will be published in The Grey Area, the Grey Art Gallery’s blog.


To enter, please follow these instructions carefully:

All submissions must be formatted as Microsoft Word documents, double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. Maximum length for prose pieces is 750 words, and maximum length for poems is three pages.

Please email your submission as a Microsoft Word attachment to

In the body of your email, be sure to include your full name, University ID (N# on the back of your valid ID card), NYU school and department or program, and anticipated date of graduation (do not include any of this information in your submission document).

UNDERGRADUATES: In the email’s subject line, write: “Taking Shape Writing Prize Submission: Undergrad.”

GRADUATE STUDENTS: In the email’s subject line, write: “Taking Shape Writing Prize Submission: Graduate Student.”


About the Exhibition
Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s was on view at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from January 14 through March 13, 2020, closing early in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the Grey posted on our website images of every work in the exhibition, complete gallery texts, and numerous other features.

Visit the Grey’s Taking Shape exhibition webpage for more on the exhibition and for the following resources.

  • Images and gallery texts for all works in the show
  • Virtual guided tour of the exhibition
  • Exhibition checklist and label text
  • Introductory chapter from the exhibition catalogue
  • Interview with Suheyla Takesh, co-curator of the exhibition
  • Video recordings of 3-part webinar series on “Taking Shape”
  • Blogposts on works in the show