Several years before his death in 1973, Wayne E. Mayhew of Berkeley, California, established a trust fund to provide annual awards in creative writing and fine arts at Brigham Young University in honor of his wife, Vera Hinckley Mayhew, a former BYU student. The first contest, in short story writing, began in 1963–1964 and has continued annually since then. A second contest, in poetry writing, began in 1974–1975. Then in 1978–1979 four additional contests were started. Since that time, two additional contests were added, making eight annual contests in total.