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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

Deadline

The submission deadline for 2019–20 prizes is 4 p.m. on Monday, April 20, 2020.

All submissions should be sent, via email, to the department assistant, Jennifer Roberts, jroberts@smith.edu before the deadline.

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

Criteria

Prizes are divided into five separate categories:

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

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 (2019)

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

  • Julia Falkner ’19, “Certain Forms”

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.

  • Ava Goga ’20, “Ovum
  • Imani (Cai) Sherley ’19, “We are both left handed”

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

  • Julia Smith ’19, “Variation on Saint Catherine of Siena

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

  • Lucy Liu ’21, “The Rye of Pondering
  • Nichol Kuipers ’22, “Moontide of Self (Belonging)

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

  • Jukia Falkner ’19, “Certain Forms
  • Sophia Giattina ’19, “Catholic Guilt

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

  • Emily Morris ’19, “Cool Water

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.

  • Emma Schwartz ’21, “Brackets and Trauma in 'To The Lighthouse'’”
  • Miles Bond ’19, “Speaking through the Split: Fact, Fiction, and Kingston's Cut Frenulum
  • Jackie Richardson ’21, “Reading Joseph Conrad”

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.

  • Tanya Ritchie ’19, “Them What Brung You”

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

  • Julia Smith ’19, “Variation on Saint Catherine of Siena
  • (Honorable Mention) Ava Goga ’20, “Return to Gehenna

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

  • Patricia Jewell ’20, “Who Wears the Pants? The Transformational Power of Clothing in Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra'”

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

  • Miles Bond ’19, “Hump Day

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

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

  • Nancy Canevari ’20, “Crossroads” (Fiction)
  • Kathleen Hawes AC, “Possum Problems” (Fiction)
  • (Honorable Mention) Charlotte Palmer ’19, “Angels and Willow Trees” (Fiction)
  • Samantha Brown ’19, “Bob” (Nonfiction)
  • Kathleen Hawes AC, “Pin-Up Girls in the Pin-Down World” (Nonfiction)
  • Julia Smith ’19, “Un-resolute, Un-simplified, Un-still: the Runaway Legacy of Sylvia Plath” (Nonfiction)
  • Nora Daniels ’19J, no title, (Nonfiction)

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

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

  • Maggie McCoy ’22, “The Burden of Fate: Loki in Norse Mythology

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

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

  • Miles Bond ’19

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

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

  • Julia Falkner ’19, “Septate”

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

  • Tanya Ritchie ’19