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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 2023–24 prizes is 3:45 p.m. on Monday, April 22nd, 2024. 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 1, 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 (2023)

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

  • Paige Passantino, ’23, “Oranges”

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.

  • Maggie Olszewski, '23, “Our House is No Longer a House but a Morgue” and "If the Sounds of My Childhood Summers Were Included on the Voyager Golden Record"
  • Kirby Wilson ’25, “On Tigers (and Loneliness, Which Looks Over my Shoulder")”

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

  • Emily Judkins, '24, "Crying About Old Women at the Macy's Jewelry Counter (Again)"
  • Victoria McGloughlin, '23, "Lovers Stargazing"

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

  • Lucinda Holland, '26, "Nineteen: Villanelle"
  • Jenna Chadwick, '25, "Persona non grata"

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

  • Paige Passantino, ’23, “Women, Falling
  • Mary-Kate Wilson ’25, “Mobile, Alabama, 2002"

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

  • Tara Rahman, ’23, “We Were Always Here: Akash's Story

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.

  • Zaineen Karim, ’23J, " A Diva by Design: Artifice and Assimilation in 'Heavy Breathing' "
  • Sophie Weinberg ’23, “A Mathom of Our Very Own: On the Enduring Collection Market for the Works of Tolkien's Middle Earth"

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.)Amelia Burton, ’23, “Cherry Pie: American Stories of Sexuality and Religion"
  • (b.) Amaya Boulanger, '26, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Redefining Feminine Desire and Consumption in 'Mrs. Dalloway'"

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

  • Amelia de Guzman, AC, “Ghazal for RQAJ"
  • Isabel Cruz, '24J, "Amanceer"

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

  • Frances Baker-Tucker, '23, " His Heart to Report: Sexuality and Expression in Shakespeare's 'Sonnet 130', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'The Winter's Tale'"

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

  • Asiya Karim, ’23, “The Midnight Kitchen
  • Amelia Burton, '23, "Juniper"

Elizabeth Montagu Prize

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

  • Raina Okonogi-Neth, ’23, "Comparing White Supremacy and the Talented Tenth in Nella Larsen's 'Passing'"
  • M. Hawes, ’25, "' Her Desire Ever Mounting': The Fai0led Negation of Lesbian Love in Canto 25 of 'Orlando Furioso'"

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

  • Vivian DeRosa, ’24, "For Pete's Sake World Tour”
  • Mani Schwartz,'24J, “The Color of My Heart"
  • Vincenzia Fasulo, '25, "The Restaurant"
  • Amelia Simpson, '25J, “Project Mind (excerpt)”
  • Mani Schwartz, '24J, “Habibi”
  • Madyson Grant, '25, "Flight & Fall"
  • Audrey Kim, '24, "Second Life"

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.) Skylar Ball, ’26, “The Myth of the Individual: Contagion and Connection in Kushner's 'Angels in America'"
  • (b.)Kaitlyn Connors, ’23 "Freckled Whelp"

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

  • Jennie Mathewson, ’23, "The Fun One"
  • Grey Goodermote, ’23, "Duluth for Christmas"

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

  • Frances Baker-Tucker, '23
  • Amelia Burton, '23
  • Alexandra Casais, '23
  • Camila Lashbrook, '23
  • Campbell Prince, '23J

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

  • None awarded

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

  • Paris Cezanne del Castillo, '23, “Caught in the After”
  • Campbell Prince, ’23, "The Tower and the Wet Old Man (excerpt)"
  • Sophia Bruce, '23, "Choose Your Own Adventure #1"
  • Maggie Olszewski, '23, "With Me All the Time"

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

  • Paige Passantino, '23