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Prizes & Awards

A student at the podium in the poetry center

The department offers several academic prizes. You do not need to apply for a specific prize, as your work will be eligible for all prizes in the category. You may submit in as many categories as you wish, but only two entries per category (with the exception of single poems, in which you may submit three poems).

Submission Instructions


The submission deadline for 2022–23 prizes is 3:45 p.m. on Monday, April 17th, 2023. You may certainly submit them sooner, but do not re-send a submission once you have submitted it once.

All submissions should be sent via email to the department assistant, Jennifer Roberts,, before the deadline. Please send all submissions in a single email and include your ID number in the email.

Please send them as PDF or Word Doc files only, and please name each submission with your alias and the category. Example-Emily Dickinson-single poem, Emily Dickinson-single poem 2.

Please note: We will accept a maximum of 2 submissions per prize category per student.

Prizes are divided into five separate categories:

  • Poetry (single)
  • Poetry (group) (linked by theme, subject or form)
  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Critical Essay

Submission requirements

In order for your work to be considered, the following criteria must be included on each submission:

  • a single alias on all of your submissions (do not put your real name on your paper) so the submissions are anonymous
  • the category that you are submitting the paper for (see above)
  • your major and class year
  • your student ID number
  • for a critical essay submission, include the class that the paper was written for
  • for poetry submissions, notify us if the work has been previously published

Prizes & Recent Winners (2022)

Anne Bradstreet Prize from the Academy of American Poets
Awarded for the best poem or group of poems by an undergraduate.

  • Adrie Rose, ’22, “Flare”

Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize
Awarded for the best poem by an undergraduate. Competition is not open to those who have already won the prize, nor may the poem have been printed previously.

  • Juliet Schulman-Hall, '22, “Winter Without Santa
  • Molly Hart ’24J, “Brainbleed”

Ethel Olin Corbin Prize
Awarded for the best original poem (preferably blank verse, sonnet or ballad) or informal essay by an undergraduate.

  • Paige Passantino, Ada, "Darryl"
  • Aidan Wright, '22, "Untitled (father)"

Ruth Forbes Eliot Prize
Awarded for the best poem submitted by a first year or sophomore.

  • Emily Judkins, '24, "Sunbeam Boy Breathe Now"
  • Vivian DeRosa, '24, "Live Lobsters for Sale......"

Rosemary Thomas Poetry Prize
Awarded for the best poem or group of poems.

  • Aoife Smith, ’22, “First Grief
  • Leo Smith ’22, “After the Drive Home, I Want to be an Astronaut” and "Haibun of This Heart's Insides"

Elizabeth Drew Fiction Prize
Awarded for the best fiction written by an undergraduate.

  • Addie Lovell, ’24J, “Accidents
  • Vivian DeRosa, '24, "The Blueberry Queen"

Elizabeth Drew Essay Prize
Awarded for the best classroom essay on a literary subject submitted by an undergraduate in a class taught by a member of the English department.

  • Raina Okonogi-Neth, ’23, “'Slowly, if Ever, Recovered From: Complicating the Pathology of Female Homosexuality in Carmilla' "
  • Vivian DeRosa ’24, “Reader, I Did Not Marry Him: Agency and Direct Address in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"

Elizabeth Drew Memorial Prizes
Awarded for (a) the best honors thesis in English, and (b) the best essay on a literary subject submitted by a first year.

  • (a.) Olivia Davis, ’22, “A Different Kind of Missing"
  • (b.) Olivia Sarno, '25, "Poetry, Gender and Sexuality, and the Limits of Privacy"

Eleanor Cederstrom Prize
Awarded for the best poem by an undergraduate, written in a traditional verse form.

  • Adrie Rose, ’22, “Sonnet in which We Are Mycelium"

Helen Kate Furness Prize
Awarded for the best essay on a Shakespearean theme prepared in courses or seminars. Honors theses are not eligible.

  • Chichi Tsai, '23, "Do Not Draw the Curtain: Leontes, Grief, and the Recontextualization of Traumatic Memory in The Winter's Tale"

James T. and Ellen M. Hatfield Memorial Prize
Awarded to a senior majoring in English for the best short story.

  • Caroline Triolo, ’22, “The Drawing
  • Ruth Schrieber, '22, "The Last Low Song"

Elizabeth Montagu Prize

Awarded for the best essay on a literary subject concerning women.

  • Zaineem Karim, ’23J, "Homosociality and the Forest: Generative Queer Spaces in A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like it" "
  • Sophie Weinberg, ’23, "A Brief Survey of Early Women Printers During the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries"
  • Juliet Schulman-Hall, '22, "Jody and the Animals Left Behind"

Gertrude Posner Spencer Prize
Awarded for excellence in writing fiction and nonfiction prose.

  • Raina Okonogi-Neth, ’23, "The Rising Profile of Proof Assistants in Theoretical Mathematics”
  • Bena Williams,'22, “Hover"
  • Andie Smiley, '22, "To Bloom"
  • Helen Marino, '24, “How to Throw a Ceramic Urn”
  • Rose Poku, '22, “Subverting Mother/Lands: How Black Women of the 1970s Reclaimed the New Negro, Négritude, and Negrismo”

Emogene Mahony Memorial Prize
Awarded for (a) the best essay on a literary subject written by a first-year student and (b) the best honors thesis.

  • (a.) Jordan Ferdman, ’26J4, “The Climacteric of His Want: Robert Lowell, The Female Voice, and Cold War Boundaries"
  • (b.) Emma Kerr, ’22 "Triple Stars"

Norma M. Leas Memorial Prize
Awarded to a graduating English major for excellence in written English.

  • Lizzie Kalvesmaki, ’22, "Constructions of Crime and Restorative Justice in Frankenstein, From Page to Screen"
  • Caroline Triolo, ’22, "Social Contagion or Self-Containment? The Influence of Echo and Narcissus on The Picture of Dorian Gray"
  • Adalyn Model, '22J,"Golem"

Clara French Memorial Prize
Awarded to a graduating English major who had advanced further in the study of English language and literature.

  • Isabelle Stevens, '22
  • Kelly Otterness, '22
  • (Margaret McCoy, '22

Vernon Harward Prize
Awarded for the best student scholar of Chaucer.

  • Selin Apaydin, '24, "'Unto the Barbre Nacioun': Orientalism and the Depiction of Islam in The Man of Law's Tale"

Mary Augusta Jordan Prize
Awarded for the most original work in prose or poetry by a senior.

  • Lara Brown,'22, “A Look in Death's Filing Cabinet”
  • Clare O'Gara, ’22, "String Theory"
  • Adrie Rose, '22, "Flare"

Elizabeth Wanning Harries Prize
Awarded to a graduating Ada Comstock scholar who has shown academic distinction in the study of literature in any language.

  • Kelly Otterness, '22